North East lockdown legal start-up celebrates centenary milestone

A start-up Independent Legal Advice business based in the North-East is celebrating reaching a centenary milestone this month, after receiving its 100th instruction.

Founded by North-East based solicitor, Joe Phelan, during the Coronavirus pandemic in late 2020, the legal start-up – Phelan Independent – has since been working with solicitors’ firms and commercial finance brokers across the country to offer their clients expert, fast and affordable independent legal advice on a range of matters.

With the pandemic acting as a catalyst for many businesses to embrace new ways of working, Phelan Independent seized the opportunity to disrupt the often slow, expensive, and cumbersome status quo by offering Independent Legal Advice, delivered by senior solicitors, via online platforms including Microsoft Teams and Whatsapp within 48 hours of instruction.

Receiving its 100th instruction is testament to the start-up’s ability to accelerate the turnaround times associated with multiple commercial transactions, where independent legal advice is required prior to individuals separately signing documents, such as personal guarantees or occupier waiver forms.

Joe Phelan explains the significance of the milestone, along with his plans for the future:

“Setting up a new business can be a tough decision at the best of times but pressing ahead with launching Phelan Independent during a global pandemic was certainly a daunting prospect. That said, having worked as a solicitor for many years I knew first-hand how hard it can be for clients to obtain high quality Independent Legal Advice quickly and affordably.

“Because the requirement for Independent Legal Advice typically only becomes evident shortly before deals are ready to complete, it’s common for transactions to become delayed, while separate representation is sourced, instructed and the advice provided. Keen to complete, clients are often forced to accept high fees and less than desirable turnaround times. I wanted to change all of that and, spurred on by the pandemic, set up Phelan Independent to meet increasing demand for remote provision of Independent Legal Advice delivered quickly and by a qualified solicitor.

Joe continues: “Growth has been steady since we established the company and we’re proud to now be securing repeat business with local, regional, and national law firms, as well as from members of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers; an organisation that represents just under 2000 brokers across the UK and which appointed Phelan Independent an associate patron last year. Reaching 100 instructions feels like a big achievement and one that we’re keen to build on in the coming months and years as we continue to serve as ‘deal enablers’ to law firms, brokers and clients alike.”