A new network of more than 170 firms has been established to take on the role of 'on-call partner' for members.
It is the second such network to be set up this year.
East Midlands firm Nelsons said today it has created Fusion Legal to act as a support and referral source for member firms. The network is free to join and aims to give smaller firms the assistance needed to compete against bigger practices.
Nelsons partner Marie Walls (pictured), who leads Fusion Legal, said: 'Many smaller firms do not have access to the practice support readily available within larger law firms.
'The referral aspect of the network means that our member firms can refer work they can't deal with, while at the same time retaining their clients because of the strict non-poaching agreement we have in place.'
The network also offers help with PII renewal, CPD seminars and an advice line to contact Nelsons lawyers for a second opinion or for advice on compliance issues.
The firm has set up an arrangement with a business consultancy for help in areas such as business development, marketing, tax and auditing and IT. The network will also look to make savings through bulk buying of stationery.
Member firms are based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Peterborough, Northampton, South Lincolnshire, Stoke and Warwickshire.
Fusion Legal follows in the footsteps of a similar network for firms in the West Midlands called Hub.Legal.
That setup was created to match the purchasing and marketing power of bigger rivals.