December 21 2021
Flex Legal's 2021 Wrap-up
After overcoming the challenges of 2020, Flex Legal has come back with a bang in 2021. From winning prestigious awards, to launching a brand new social mobility training scheme, it’s been a big year for the team at Flex HQ, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on our favourite highlights from the year.
Flex turned 5!We were super excited to celebrate our 5th birthday this year with our wonderful team and clients. We’re so proud of how far we've come in that time, from our co-founders, Mary and James, first meeting on a hay bale with a simple idea to connect busy legal teams to law graduates. Fast forward five years, and now we have a fabulous team of 39, over 6,000 paralegals and lawyers on our platform, lots of new ideas, and most importantly, we made it through the pandemic as a team and came out of it stronger than ever.
The Lawyer Awards: Law Company of the YearOnce we’d recovered from celebrating our 5th birthday, just around the corner in November we were absolutely over the moon to be crowned ‘Law Company of the Year’ in The Lawyer Awards. Thank you to The Lawyer Awards for this incredible recognition, and to all our candidates and clients for helping us get to where we are today.
The launch of Flex Trainee - our brand new social mobility training schemeWhen Mary and James founded Flex, they did so with a mission to make the legal industry more diverse, inclusive, and flexible for all. This year, they wanted to go further than they ever have before with the launch of Flex Trainee - a brand new social mobility training scheme, which allows legal teams to take on diverse, capable legal professionals and give them the opportunity to pursue a career in the legal industry, through the new SQE route to qualification.
Our first cohort of 6 trainees has been a great success, thanks to our wonderful clients: ASOS, Vodafone, Trussle Group, The Crown Estate, Next15 Communications and The Phoenix Group; and plans are already underway for our next cohort in Spring 2022.
We opened two new officesTo mark the return to the office in April 2021, we were delighted to open our own new space in Work Life, Bermondsey, London - big enough for our ever growing team. Our second opening was of our brand new Manchester office to support our rapid growth in the North, headed up by Louise Anderson, Head of the Northern Hub, alongside her team of Mancunian Flexers.
We invested in our techThe Flex Legal QWE Journal
As part of the brand new SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) route to qualification, aspiring lawyers are required to complete 2 years of Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) in up to 4 organisations; and all that experience has to relate to the SRA’s statement of solicitor competence and be confirmed by a solicitor. That’s a lot of competencies to cross check and confirmations to manage, and so to make this process as smooth as possible, back in April we launched the brand new Flex Legal Journal - the first digital system in the industry for tracking QWE.
The Flex Journal lets you record your experience, manage approvals and track your progress online against the SRA’s competency framework. Head here to start recording your journal entries today.
We launched our brand new podcast - Humans of LawBack in June this year, we launched our new podcast ‘Humans of Law’ with the mission of uncovering the real human stories behind life in the law. We’ve gone beyond brands, titles, and news headlines, and really drilled into the positives and negatives of the legal industry. We’ve had guest speakers from all walks of life, from CEO’s of law firms, partners, and legal influencers, all the way to trainee solicitors and university graduates trying to find their career footing during Covid.
Want to get 2022 off to an insightful start?
Events, events and more events!!!2021 has seen the well-overdue return of in-person events once again, but we’ve also had our fair share of virtual gatherings this year. Here are just some of Flex’s events over the past year:
- Our very own Junior Lawyer Lunches, hosted in collaboration with LexisNexis: After launching our Virtual Lunch events in the first lockdown of 2020, they have continued to be a great success throughout this year, with a host of incredible speakers, from Dominique Ashby to Christopher Tart-Roberts, talking on an array of topics such as: mental health in law, in-house vs private practice, legal tech and much more! Keep your eyes peeled to book on to our next Junior Lawyer Virtual Lunch, taking place in February 2022.
- Our very first Northern In-house Event: At the start of November, we were delighted to host our first ever Northern In-house Event, in collaboration with LexisNexis. Thank you to all our wonderful speakers: Mary Bonsor, Louise Anderson, Gemma Farina, Susan Lamb, Dan Kayne and Katie Barker; and for those of you who couldn't make it, keep an eye out for our next Northern event!
- LexisNexis’ Senior Counsel Events, hosted by our Head of Learning & Development, Sophie Gould: 2021 has seen a continuation of LexisNexis’ Senior Counsel Virtual Sessions, held in collaboration with ourselves at Flex Legal, Crafty Counsel and Radius Law. If you’re senior counsel, these events are not to be missed - sign up to January’s session on ‘The effective leader: How to lead amid disruption and complexity’ now.
- Northern GC Powerhouse Forum/Midlands Forum/Hub Leaders Events/SQE Steering: Through various forums throughout the year, we’ve been delighted to bring the legal community together and give lawyers a space to network/collaborate.
- University Roadshow: Flex have been on tour! Over Autumn, we’ve had virtual visits with universities up and down the country, from BPP, Legal Cheek, Barbri and The University of Law, to King’s College London, The University of Leeds, Newcastle University, and The University of Bristol, plus many more. Where shall we head next? Look out for us at your law fairs and careers talks next Spring!
As well as hosting plenty of our own fantastic virtual events, we’ve been lucky enough to sponsor some exciting in-person and virtual events led by our friends and partners in the industry, including: Crafty Counsel’s Community Lunch Event; The Annual SMMT Automotive In-house Lawyers' Seminar; and Retail Week’s GC Summit. Here’s to many more in-person meet-ups in 2022!
The Flex HQ Team: new starters, promotions, weddings and babies!With bigger ambitions has come the need for a bigger team, and we’re delighted to have welcomed 24 new starters through the year. Take a peek at the people behind our success here!
As well as many new starters, there’s been plenty of progression within our existing team. We’re delighted to congratulate Jessica Rivett on her promotion to General Manager, and Harry Mellor on his promotion to Client Development Manager of our Sales Team, along with Jennifer Ofodile and Amy Weir-Simmons on their promotion to the brand new role of Senior Associates within our Client Services Team. They are all great ambassadors of the Flex values of being positive, human and responsive throughout their work, and really deserve their new roles.
Lastly, we’re over the moon to congratulate Client Services Associate, Yusuf Ogretici, on his marriage this Summer, and Chief Operating Officer, Sam Gunn, on the birth of her beautiful baby Ivo. But Sam’s not the only team member to become a parent this year… a massive congratulations to Ben Harris and Zaia Ndokera (both wonderful Client Services Managers in the Lawyers Team) on becoming puppy parents to their fluffy children, Alfie and Arthur.
Plenty of happy candidatesAt Flex, we aim to give our clients and candidates as much of a friendly, positive and human service as we can, and so we’re incredibly pleased to see that 100% of our Google Reviews are 5 stars. Here’s just a taster of some of the amazing feedback we’ve received this year:
“Flex Legal is an AMAZING company. I have recently started my placement as a Paralegal through Flex and I could not thank them enough. The Flex team are very helpful, supportive and extremely professional. WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND!”
Hanane, Flex Paralegal
Over the last year, we’ve had 3,081 new candidates accepted onto our platform, meaning we have a total of 6,145 talented lawyers and paralegals currently available for interim work. Head here to find out how to hire from our pool of candidates today.
And lots of happy clients!We’d like to wish a warm welcome to all our new clients for this year, and a big thank you to all our clients who have been kind enough to complete a case study: Trustpilot Group PLC, RSG Consulting, Lenovo, Gowling WLG, Kraft Heinz, Runnymede Law and Aston University.
In just 5 years, we’re proud to now work with an array of top clients, from magic circle law firms, to prestigious in-house legal teams all across the UK. We look forward to continuing to support you all over the coming years!
“We love working with Flex Legal. They’ve continuously supported us in providing many valuable candidates and have helped to make the hiring process much smoother during busy peaks of work.”
Simon Chapman, Legal Counsel at Kraft Heinz
It has to be said it’s been a whopper of a year for Flex, and we’re so excited to see where 2022 takes us next. A very Merry Christmas to all our wonderful clients and candidates, and our best wishes for the New Year!
- 2020: a big year for Flex Legal - take a look at our wrap-up blog post from 2020 to see how far we’ve really come in two years, even through the infamous Covid-19 pandemic.
- Hire a Flex Lawyer or Paralegal - keen to get some valuable support during busy peaks of work? Click here to find out how interim resourcing can really help you.
- Apply to be a Flex Lawyer or Paralegal - are you a lawyer who craves a better work/life balance or a paralegal who’s looking for that valuable legal experience to get into the industry? If so, then head here to apply to Flex today!