The Collaborative Legal Network - Preventing losing clients to a competitor

The Collaborative Legal Network (CLN) is a referrals and support network for law firms across the South West. The network is run by Michelmores, a Top 100 law firm with headquarters in Exeter and offices in Bristol and London. CLN currently has over 40 members.


The network is designed to benefit firms who are asked by clients to undertake work that they either do not cover or are unable to take on due to a conflict of interest. Rather than the client taking their work to a competitor and then remaining with the other firm in the future, the network enables a firm to refer the client to Michelmores with the confidence that Michelmores will not actively market that client or accept any further work from the client without the referring firm's written consent.


Membership to the network is free, and brings a number of benefits, including:


  • a specific Service Level Agreement
  • no lock-in period
  • a non-poaching agreement
  • a fee sharing arrangement
  • a free enquiry line service
  • free seminars
  • discounted Mediation fees.

In return for referring work through CLN, a firm receives a fee share of the work billed and paid during the matter.


Michelmores provides an assurance that the referral firm or the referred client will be contacted on the day the referral is made for an initial discussion. Michelmores, within 48 hours, will confirm whether the matter can be taken on. If, for some reason, Michelmores is unable to deal with the matter then we will discuss with you referring the matter to another member firm (the fee share arrangement will then not apply).


Membership of the network enables member firms to access the resources and support of a larger firm. Michelmores offers member firms a free enquiry line service giving access to an experienced specialist lawyer for perhaps a second opinion on a complicated transaction, or in respect of a tricky HR issue that you may be facing internally.  We aim to contact a member firm on the day the enquiry is made to initially discuss a case. 


Member firms can also take advantage of bespoke fixed fee packages that Michelmores can offer in relation to Human Resources, Employment Law, and Debt recovery.


CLN hold free seminars for member firms covering areas of law or topics requested by the member firms. The next event is an AGM which will take place in February 2018, covering Retirement and tax planning, Human Resource Management, an Employment law overview and Management issues.


Membership of CLN means that firms need never turn a client away or by default send an existing client to a competitor. Membership of the network effectively extends the range of services that can be offered to clients.


The Collaborative Legal Network is focused on being genuinely collaborative and aims to provide a friendly and professional service to both the referral firms and their clients. Michelmores will be representing the referral firm, as well as themselves when liaising with a client and that means assisting them beyond their expectations. The network welcomes all law firms, especially those who operate in the South West.


If you are interesting in joining the Collaborative Legal Network please contact the Network Administrator, Karen Darbey, to discuss further on 01392 687642 or email

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