Harnessing the power of the next generation of lawyers – an interview with Mary Bonsor, CEO and Co-Founder of F-LEX

Harnessing the power of the next generation of lawyers – an interview with Mary Bonsor, CEO and Co-Founder of F-LEX

If an in-house legal team is overloaded with work but the business can’t fund extra lawyers, what are the options for GCs? Is the upcoming generation of legal practitioners a valuable, under-used pool of resource?

Sophie Gould talks to Mary Bonsor, CEO and Co-Founder of F-LEX, an online platform connecting law student paralegals with GCs and law firms needing additional resource, about the difference they’re making with their service.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how F-LEX came into being …

I did my GDL and LPC at BPP, then qualified into a law firm. I loved my time as a lawyer as was very lucky to be qualifying into such a great firm, Winckworth Sherwood LLP. We were based next to Kaplan Law School and I would often look out the window at law students and think, I really need some help, if only I could grab them through the window and get them to come and help me do some bundles. And that’s how the idea for F-LEX came about.

I started going to legal tech events, including the first Legal Geek event. I approached one of the speakers, who was an ex-managing partner, and told him I’d got this idea and that I’d love to get his thoughts on it. He said to come back to him in a few weeks with a business plan, which I did. And then he said he’d invest.

I tried to prove the idea before I went back to him by placing four law students into a law firm. I put together some very basic T&Cs and charged a fee, which went straight to the student. I wasn’t making any money, but it was a proof of concept.

Once I’d got the investment, I then met my co-founder, James Moore. He’s a technologist with loads of commercial experience, so we were very lucky to have him. I’m more the client

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About the author:

Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices. 

As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers.  These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK.  She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors. 

She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.  

Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.