Optim Legal, the start-up firm which claimed to offer top-tier experience at billable rates 40 per cent lower than top-tier firms, has closed.
Founded in 2008 by Nick James - a former Freehills and Allens Arthur Robinson lawyer - Optim Legal disbanded in April this year.
"Optim Legal is unfortunately no longer," said James in a statement. It is a pretty short and common story - just a simple question of two equal shareholding founders wanting to go in different directions."
According to James, the break-up of a "disunited shareholding group" occurred in mid-2010, despite the firm performing strongly in its final six months.
"The firm was performing well in its last six months but had some residual start-up related debt which needed to be cleared up to continue," he said.
James added that he has been "testing the waters" on the possibility of establishing a new firm, based on the Optim Legal concept, but will spend the next few months to work outside the legal industry.
Since its 2008 launch, Optim Legal gained significant attention for its innovation, including the provision of satisfaction-based billing arrangements allowing clients to lower, or increase, their fees by as much as 20 per cent.
Back in 2009, James told Lawyers Weekly that his firm could offer discounted top-tier service because of the firm's efficient services model.
"That model, theoretically, would have been possible under a partnership," said James. "But a partnership that was able to run much more efficiently may have simply absorbed the savings into partner profits."