Life at Nexa Law – Steven Mather, Commercial Partner

Rachel Barnes, Marketing & Onboarding Manager
Estimated read time: 4 Minutes

Continuing our ‘Consultant Stories’ series where our lawyers share their journey to becoming a Consultant Solicitor with Nexa, we caught up with Commercial Partner, Steven Mather.

Meet the Consultant…

Steven is a commercial business lawyer who qualified in 2008 and worked at partner level before becoming a Consultant with Nexa.

What do you do at Nexa?

I like to say that I help small and medium-sized business owners with their legal solutions. My clients are typically owner-managed, family-run businesses looking for excellent service, great commercial advice, sensible fees and a relationship. They don’t want to be a number in the system.

Over the last few years, working with Nexa has allowed me to continually refine my client offering, and in doing so I’ve moved away slightly from the more traditional titles that law firms give to their fee earners. I’m a business lawyer. I help businesses. That could mean one day I’m a corporate lawyer, the next a company lawyer, the next a contracts/commercial lawyer, the next an employment lawyer and,… well, hopefully you get the point. My clients don’t want to have to deal with 5 or 6 different people if they can avoid it, and instead prefer to deal with me directly. I’m not a jack-of-all-trades, mind, I just have really deep and wide experience in helping businesses and running my own.

And of course, one massive benefit of working with Nexa is that if there’s a specialism that is needed, we will usually have a partner to refer the work to.

What prompted you to join Nexa?   

There was a multitude of reasons behind my handing my notice in after being an equity partner for 9 years.

The two biggest drivers though were: health and life.

6 years ago, I was diagnosed with Menieres Disease and with that I have regular vestibular disfunction and migraines. In plain English it means sometimes I feel like not doing a great deal. While my previous practice were good with it, there’s a point with any disability or chronic long-term illness where you feel like sometimes you’re taking the mick a little (you’re not, but you feel like it). So being able to work more flexibly was a big driver.

And life was the second big driver. I’ve two children (13 and 6) and life goes past so quickly. I wanted to do more school runs, spend more time with the kids, enjoy time with them, rather than just be there hopefully to put them to bed.

I’m pleased to say that Nexa has allowed me to really change my life in both respects.

Where have you worked previously?  

I was previously a partner and branch manager in a high street practice in Leicestershire. Before that I trained in a boutique commercial firm, again in Leicestershire.

What one piece of advice would you give to a lawyer thinking about becoming self-employed?   

Do it.

Stop being a lawyer and thinking all about the risk. You’ll need to move from the relative comfort of a salary, sure, but in reality, if you’re bringing in some of your own work already, you’ll smash it as a consultant. Moreover, you lose: management meetings, appraisals, staff meetings, targets, and instead get to focus on what you actually really love which is helping clients. Plus you’ll get up to 80% of what you bill, and when that starts to come through, it genuinely could change your life. Your salary now is great, you get say 30-35% of what you bill for the firm if you’re lucky. Sure, immediately most consultants wont have £300k £500k or whatever you’re billing now immediately, but with some thought and some marketing, your new legal business can easily achieve the same billing as you’re doing now, if not more, and you’ll take home the lion’s share.

For those thinking whether they should set up their own firm directly regulated with the SRA, having looked into it myself and looked at a significant number of small practices to buy, I know that 25% for all that Nexa do is great value and you’ll definitely be paying more than that on: compliance, insurance, AML, cashiers, software and more besides. Moreover, YOU will end up doing more work than you do now, which for most isn’t the objective!

What do you most enjoy about being a consultant at Nexa?  

Being able to run my own legal business the way I want to, without the costs and time of having to do the management side myself, all while working less hours, spending more time with my family, earning more money and being overall happier.

Thinking about making a change?  For an informal, confidential chat about becoming a Consultant Solicitor with Nexa, contact CMO & Head of Talent, John McAuley on to schedule a call.

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