Can’t I just set up my own “consultancy”?

You can. And many Free Zones offer Professional Consultancy or Freelance licenses. However, you will not be properly licensed to practice law as your firm will not be a licensed legal firm. The importance of being part of a fully licensed legal firm as opposed to a ‘grey area legal consultant’ cannot be understated. Sanctions and penalties could be severe and may even include disciplinary action by your home bar or regulator. The costs savings (if any) of setting up and managing your own practice are marginal at best when compared on a like-for-like basis. For example, the cost of procuring medical insurance outside of a group policy is significantly higher and requires full prior medical history disclosure.

…Or I could join a local practice.

This is a more credible alternative but does restrict you to a narrow platform, limited resources and no international referral base. It is likely that you will be required to contribute 30% to 50% of your revenue to the platform. At Keystone, you will be in the company of like-minded lawyers from a similar professional background and work culture.