What is Cerium Legal?

Cerium Legal is a limited liability company incorporated in New Zealand. It is a company offering to provide legal consultants to law firms and businesses. It is not a law firm.


Why New Zealand?

Having been a lawyer in the City of London since 1988 and a partner since 1996 I had a choice where to spend my time: with the family or in the office. I chose to spend a few years putting the children first. Hence the move to my wife's home, Auckland.


What does Stephen do?

This depends on what the engagement is. For example: I can adopt a supporting role on a major transaction; lead the transaction; prepare documentation in the background or simply act as a commercial adviser. While happy leading the team I am also noted for being a team player and willing to take on a purely supporting role.


How much does this all cost?

Each engagement is costed separately. For example:



How does billing work?

Cerium Legal will invoice you in Sterling, as agreed. As Cerium Legal is not incorporated in the EU and services are provided from outside the EU, no VAT is payable. The NZ equivalent (called GST) applies, but services delivered outside of NZ are zero rated.


If you wish to on charge time costs, then it is usually appropriate for Stephen to be included as a fee earner within your organisation.


How do we pay you?

Cerium Legal banks with Lloyds TSB in the UK and details are shown on our invoices. We deal in Sterling.


Who else is using you?

Recent engagements include:



Is it a secret you are in NZ?

No. What you choose to tell the client is a matter for you. We have a UK phone number for the convenience of our customers. Often the fact we are in NZ never arises on a project, although it has been noted by other lawyers that our turn around times can be very quick, since early afternoon in Auckland is the early hours of the morning in London.


Does Stephen have a practising certificate?

Yes. A copy is available on request.


What about indemnity insurance?

Where you are a law firm then we expect you to include Stephen under your PI policy. We will need to make sure the level of cover is appropriate for the project. If the engagement is an in house type engagement then the engagement agreement will address liability issues.


How do we/the client get hold of you?

Commonly you will allocate one of your own direct dial numbers to Stephen, which can then be forwarded to our London number transparently. That way the client calls the firm and gets Stephen. Alternatively we can provide an engagement specific number in any major locale.


We suggest allocation of one of your own branded email addresses to Stephen, so that you keep a complete record of all email traffic on your servers. This can then be automatically forwarded, or retrieved by us via Microsoft Exchange.


Calls to Cerium are automatically forwarded to voicemail when unanswered.


What IT do you have?

We use the full Microsoft office 2010 suite, running on Windows 7 PCs and laptops. Let us know if you have any specific additional requirements.


What about data security?

Email and documents being worked on reside on encrypted hard drives. No information is transported on USB drives or laptops without being encrypted.


Email communication with Cerium can (at your option) be encrypted.


What additional costs are there?

Whether there are any at all will largely depend on the nature of the engagement. For example, if the engagement requires very large amounts of printing, we would expect to pass that cost on. If you choose to use our conference call provider, then that cost will also be passed on. Other telephone costs are usually modest as these are via Skype.


What if the project needs somebody physically present?

If Stephen is needed to travel to the UK or Europe this takes about 24 hours, but is not usually a problem. If a project needs Stephen to attend in person, then the costs of business class travel and appropriate accommodation will be passed on.


What if we need additional personnel?

Cerium Legal has contacts with a number of freelance lawyers of all experience levels and will endeavour to source additional personnel by arrangement.


Can we get references?

References are available by request.


Do you cover other jurisdictions?

Stephen is a solicitor admitted in England, so is qualified to advise directly on English law alone. However, many of the projects undertaken in the recent past have involved project management of lawyers or commercial analysis of issues in jurisdictions outside England, including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Spain and the Czech Republic.

+44 (0) 20 7193 1950

+44 (0) 20 7193 1950