I S S U E 9 8 - JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0
This magazine contains comments that may disturb the bar
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Circulated FREE to Barristers’ Clerks in the United Kingdom
E D I TO R ’ S PA G E
I have been a fan of IT ever since I got my first Sinclair ZX 81 and
went to night school to be introduced to the computer language
called Basic. I learnt about programming the computer to
recognise “IF” an event happened..... “THEN” the computer would
make another event happen. Programming was a simple string of
loops. I would go home and think about how the software could be
applied to what I was doing as a solicitor. I was particularly
excited [sad I know] when I put a series of standard letters
together with just blanks to fill in for a particular client in personal
injury cases. Shortly after the case management system was born
and how they have developed since to the point where nobody
could now contemplate running PI case without a sophisticated
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES TO:
email@example.com There is a lovely phrase often used in the software world: “Be careful of
what you ask for in case you get it.” This has never been truer with all
the change that is just round the corner for the legal profession. So to
EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES TO: that backdrop a White paper is to be published in February by IRIS to
firstname.lastname@example.org stimulate debate and to ensure as far as possible that they deliver what
you want them to deliver. The author of the White paper is Chris Owen at
St Philips Chambers and in this and the next 2 editions we will give you
This edition of the Clerksroom
Magazine has been kindly supported the edited highlights. However we have had to condense almost 12,000
by the following companies: words into 4 articles so should you wish to read the whole White paper
once it is available later in February you can register your interest on the
IRIS website to be advised when you can read the full version.
Advantage Office Supply Systems Ltd With over 100 recommendations and containing hundreds of pages, the
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• Both solicitors and barristers would be permitted to enter into
Clerksroom Magazine is produced under licence by
Contingency Fee Agreements but costs would still be recoverable
JAR Holdings Limited, 9 Old Coach Road, against opposing parties on the conventional basis.
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All this potential change makes it even harder to plan an ABS!
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
We are hoping to create a regular feature for Chambers
to keep everyone informed of developments within a As a result, her team all move up one: Liz Gage is now
set relating to all staff. Gill Butchard has kindly offered Senior Criminal Clerk role, Hayley Sanderson is
to collate the information and so be the point of promoted to 1st Junior Crime and Hannah Dempsey is
contact. promoted to 2nd Junior Crime from Office Junior.
There have also been four new members of staff:
To get the ball rolling and so you can see the type of
Has your firm spoken to advantage yet about joining one of the
news and information we believe to be of interest, Gill • Andrew Argyle, the new Chief Executive Officer to
Legal Buying Groups and massively reducing your office supplies
has written about her Husband’s set Zenith Chambers. take over from Robin at the end of March 2010, overhead?
has already started.
Gill Butchard reports on some changes at Zenith. Of • Laura Myers has started as Junior If not.. call us today to receive details and information of how you
course the main news last year was the pending Civil/Family Clerk. can introduce an innovative new supply system that will reduce
retirement of her husband Robin as their Practice • Stephanie Jaryckyj is Office Junior. costs and save time throughout the year.
Director. There will be more on his departure in a later • Kathleen Birch is receptionist.
edition. He cannot be allowed to slip away quietly
without an interview. Movers & Shakers Why choose us as Save on purchase price and eliminate
If you have news about your chambers and staff you
your one supplier?
Gill reports: would like to share with colleagues, please contact
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Work with us to create an effective,
We have undergone some structural changes this ring her on 07725 911320.
efficient ordering system that’s perfect
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of life sentences doing hard labour). business.
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JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
www.advantageoss.com Choose from over 30,000 product lines,
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Why Do You Need a Chambers IT Strategy?
20 Questions To Ask Your IT Partner (Extracts)
Introduction Client Analysis (efficiency)
The aim of the white paper is to ensure that anyone with Delivering a first class client service is becoming
an interest in securing optimum chambers efficiency is increasingly challenging for chambers operating in today’s
equipped to ask the right questions. competitive marketplace. Attracting new clients can be
This paper looks at the issues surrounding a chambers; expensive and time consuming, so it is clearly imperative
where modern IT systems can help over a number of areas that chambers do all they can to retain those clients who
and also explores the type of information IT systems are loyal, that should be the first aim of any chambers.
chambers should be making use of in order to make these
improvements. 1 Client Segmentation
Can we easily identify our most profitable/unprofitable
The 20 questions are divided into three areas of efficiency: clients and do we know who are the fastest/slowest
• Client Analysis (efficiency) - in this edition payers?
• Process efficiency - in the February edition
• System efficiency - in the March edition An intimate knowledge of clients derived from the
information your system holds is critical to the success
Client Analysis (efficiency) of any chambers in a market competing for your
1 Client segmentation: business.
Can we easily identify our most profitable clients and
at the least, do we know who are the quickest payers An integrated chambers management system should
and the slowest? be used. This process would be uneconomic to
perform if carried out manually, but today’s systems
2 Depth of information: can provide this information in the form of printed or
Can we access any information we may hold about on-screen key performance indicators (KPIs).
our clients’ current (and possibly future needs) as a
guide to new legal service opportunities? Monitoring work in progress
Chambers software can disseminate information on each
3 Effective client and prospect management: client to all relevant staff in the chambers. For instance, the
Can we provide a better service to our clients by level of information regarding work in progress, not yet billed
recording and tracking documents and client contact but within the system (WIP) (if this is how your chambers
details so that all relevant chambers staff can see the operates) can be analysed and monitored by individual
status of the client relationship? barrister, case type, and referral firm. Budgets can be set and
monitored for each client or for categories of work.
4 Monitoring leads:
Does the system provide us with the flexibility to Most chambers work on payment summaries and work
market the chambers more effectively by tailoring our done reports but what about the cases running and
communications (e.g. newsletters and legal updates, unbilled, papers being worked on for advice and as yet
chambers events) to suit the needs and interests of unbilled? Cases delivered but which have no date assigned
our targets? and have had no court appearance as yet. All of this has a
value which is why law firms have for many years regarded
5 Access and online reporting - 24 x 7: WIP as important.
Can our clients communicate with us online at times
more convenient to them, outside normal office
hours? (Not just for international work).
4 Continued on page 7...
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
...continued from page 4
Imagine the scenario of a client telephoning chambers to Yet, if they had access to that information, they could
enquire about the progress of their case. The member of generate both significant extra fee income from clients, as
staff taking the call would key in the name of the client and well as goodwill, client loyalty and referrals by adopting a
the system would produce detailed, relevant information on proactive approach.
screen. With the advent of IP telephony, efficiency can be
taken a step further in order to provide a more tailored and Data mining
friendly service to the client. In the example of the merged chambers, the existence of a
single integrated database would allow the relevant parties
The phone system identifies who is calling passing the to segment clients by key criteria already held in the system
details to the chambers system in order to automatically e.g. name of solicitor, address, type of practice area, legally
‘pop up’ the client’s record on the screen for the barrister aided/privately paying client normally, types of cases.
to view all the relevant information when answering the 4 Monitoring Leads and Networking
telephone. The client remembers and appreciates the fact Does the system provide us with the flexibility to market
that the clerk (or barrister) appears to be fully appraised of the chambers more effectively by tailoring our
the client’s case and details at the start of the conversation. communications (e.g. newsletters and legal updates) to suit
the needs and interests of our clients, contacts and
2 Depth of Information prospects?
Can we record and access in-depth information about our
clients and about their current and possible future needs as Automated mailings
a guide to new business opportunities? Automated mailshots can be produced in a fraction of the
time it would take a member of staff to produce them
A key problem for chambers running multiple databases. manually. Some chambers report that they can produce a
sizeable mailshot in just a few hours compared to the days
Case Study it took pre-automation. Hard copy mailings can be
Take the scenario of a recent merger of two reasonably supplemented or even replaced with mailshots sent via
sized chambers, with no clear IT strategy and a proliferation email.
5 Access & Online Reporting - 24 x 7
The Head of Chambers who, by his own admission said he Can our clients communicate with us online at times more
was not interested in computers at all, is frustrated because convenient to them and outside normal trading hours?
the merger of the chambers, which was intended to For some clients providing 24 X 7 access will soon become
contribute £200,000 per year by leveraging cross sale a priority. An interactive and intuitive web site with an
opportunities from the combined chambers, is only on-line reporting facility is also a valuable marketing tool
generating £20,000. which will differentiate the chambers from its competitors.
Why? The clerks were unable to proactively identify new This article is an extract from a white paper due to be
opportunities for cross selling because they lacked the published in March 2010. To receive a free copy of the
information on the database (if one existed at all!) paper upon publication, please register your interest at:
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
”What Makes A Clerk Tick?”
Martin Secrett has been clerking for over 25 years and during the last 10 years at QEB Hollis Whiteman where he
was appointed Senior Clerk in October 2008. But not many know that he is a keen cricketer (both playing and
watching). What is more, you can hear his dulcet tones on the Chambers podcast.
Martin was an active member of the Territorial Army, serving in the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of
London for 16 years. When he left, in 2001, he was a Warrant Officer, having served as Squadron Sergeant Major
and Regimental Drill Sergeant. He is a Freeman of the City of London and has recently joined the Company of
Pikemen and Musketeers becoming a Pikeman
(The Lord Mayor of London’s Bodyguard).
When did you start working in Chambers and in
I started on Monday 15th September 1982 in the
Chambers of A. Mildon QC 2 Crown Office Row
(now 4 New Square) as the Junior Clerk.
Why did you become a clerk?
Divine intervention – My Father knew my first Head
of Chambers through the church.
So far what has been your best moment
Becoming Senior Clerk here – at a great Crime set with
a first class reputation.
What has been your worst moment
Again becoming Senior Clerk – knowing the buck stops
with me now it’s my ship.
Who has been the greatest influence What is the worst aspect of the job?
on your career? Dealing with Barristers who think they know better
My Father – who become a Head Teacher despite being than you, when usual they don’t.
LawCare is an advisory and support They offer the opportunity to discuss
service to help lawyers, their staff and health issues and problems which are Do you have any bad habits?
Did the Territorial Army change your Far too many to list.
their immediate families to deal with interfering with, or have the potential to outlook on life?
health problems such as depression and interfere with, work performance and/or Yes – it gave my more focus. What car do you drive?
addiction, and related emotional family life – and to seek help in resolving What irritates you the most?
difficulties. the problem in its early stages. The Being told what to do. What’s on your iPod?
101 running songs – not that I listen to them often.
service is free and entirely confidential. What is the best aspect of the job?
Dealing with Barristers who want to better themselves How do you relax?
and Chambers. Watching or playing Sport.
Helpline: 0800 279 6888 9 Continued on page 11...
9 a.m. - 7.30 p.m. weekdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekends and Bank Holidays JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
...continued from page 9
What is your best batting or bowling Name one person you would like to have dinner
performance? with and why?
5 for 23 and 47 not out from 14 balls. The Lord Chancellor so I can tell him what I think of his
Legal Aid policy – not that it would make any
How did you get into dancing? difference. Dinner at 11 Downing Street would be fun.
To meet women!
If you were stranded on a desert island, what 2
What made you join the Company of Pikemen items would you take with you?
and Musketeers? A large Sudoku book and a pen!
Having served in the HAC [Honourable Artillery
Company], you are invited to join the Company. I am If you had not gone into clerking, what would
now the youngest member. The main event of the year you have become?
is taking part in the Lord Mayor’s Show, marching in Some thing in sport – possibly a cricket coach.
our red uniforms behind the Lord Mayor’s coach.
So what does make a clerk tick?
From What event anywhere in the world would you Adrenalin.
most like to witness?
The Ashes in Australia!
to large format
For all your
0161 777 6000
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
Bar Council on Jackson Reforms Serial-Litigants
By the Editor
As you might expect the Bar Council have quite a lot to say in responding to Lord Justice Jackson's report
In the days before Direct Access whenever a lay client came on the phone to Chambers the response was
on civil litigation costs. They issued a press release a couple of weeks ago.
simple: You just said: “Counsel cannot speak to you direct, please ring your solicitor.” Now it is not so easy,
and you also have to deal with the litigant in person. You have to be mindful of those embarking on
The Bar Council emphasised that the wide-ranging "An accessible civil justice system is essential to frivolous and vexatious litigation which may include the “barking mad” as some might describe and
review of the cost of accessing the civil justice system underpin economic activity, and to promote social those with a wider agenda than the case in hand. When you open your doors to the general public you
cannot dictate who will try to walk in.
must be an economic and social priority of any justice and equity. Lord Justice Jackson's proposals will
incoming government. Both economic recovery and help in securing those goals."
The wider agenda is particularly true in employment
ensuring a fair society were important goals that would
cases where there is a growing breed of serial litigants.
be underpinned by the proposed reforms. One key area is the reform of Conditional Fee
They will trawl the job adverts on the internet looking
Agreements, with Lord Justice Jackson floating the
to make an application that may lead to a potential
The Jackson report is made to the Master of the Rolls, prospect of a 25% cap on the uplift lawyers can charge
discrimination claim against a company which they see
but its wide-ranging recommendations will require the if a case is successful. The possibility of costs no longer
as a soft touch.
support of the Ministry of Justice to bring about the following the event is also raised.
implementation of Lord Justice Jackson’s
So how about a little of what they call “litigation due
recommendations. Michael Todd QC added:
diligence”? Serial-litigants search for litigants in
employment tribunal claims. They check to see if an
The Bar Council has argued for simplification in the Civil "Concerns have been expressed about CFAs but we
opposing party or their client is a serial-litigant. Armed unions in employment tribunal claims. He advised and
Procedure Rules governing the operation of the courts. must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. CFAs
with information about other claims, the opportunities acted for Moira Stuart in her employment dispute with
It has also sought improvements in the disclosure can promote, and in the past, in the absence of viable
for achieving a successful outcome (or even a strike-out the BBC.
process, the use of experts and access to specialist alternatives, have promoted, access to justice, but they
without a full cost hearing) can be greatly increased. In
judges able to focus on certain cases. Much of the Bar's must not be allowed to bring the system into disrepute.
their experience some serial-litigants simply drop their The fee for a search of decisions is a flat £99, currently
case is supported in the Jackson recommendations. Consideration should properly be given to limits on fee
case once confronted with a clear picture of their claims. discounted to £50 plus VAT, and £5 plus VAT for each
uplifts, if that will achieve a better balance between
access to justice for deserving claimants, and the net tribunal decision obtained. The only charge is the
Michael Todd QC, who has led the Bar Council's
The website claims the services offered are fully Register´s standard copying charges, currently 20
response to the Jackson review, said: cost to the taxpayer.
compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 and to pence per page.
have consulted the Information Commissioner Office to
"Lord Justice Jackson's report is a landmark document, "Equally, if CFAs are to play a lesser role, or be
ensure compliance. Their website lists guidance notes [printed on the next
and should be accorded the status of Lord Woolf's otherwise reformed, alternatives, such as the proposal
from Guy Mansfield QC for Contingent Legal Aid Funds, page] drawn from years of experience of dealing with
report of the mid-1990s.”
Serial-litigants.com is overseen by two employment law serial-litigants, one of which refers to the selection of
need to be considered."
specialists: Gordon Turner a solicitor of Partners the right barrister. Perhaps the site will become the first
"The Woolf reforms did not achieve everything that was
Employment Lawyers and Damian McCarthy a barrister port of call for all serial litigants as part of their training
hoped for them. Costs in civil cases have risen
of Cloisters Chambers, an experienced employment law for litigation, of course taking care to use different
inexorably, and disproportionately, over the past 15
barrister. He is listed in the Legal 500 and is regularly computers for each visit!
years and therefore need to be contained.”
used by blue-chip companies, local authorities and trade
12 13 Continued on page 15...
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...continued from page 9
Guidance: Individual employers, HR managers or lawyers will
not be able to indentify a serial-litigant.
1. Acknowledge communications but do not
engage By sharing basic information through our website,
Some serial-litigants seem to have limitless time to we can make sure that serial-litigants are
engage in correspondence. Some may want to highlighted.
create a nuisance and may well be working under
a well-practised plan. 7. Choose the right barrister
The last thing you need is a barrister adopting a
You can easily be baited into saying the wrong very slow, traditional approach.
thing or engaging in time-consuming
correspondence. We recommend using one barrister for each serial-
litigant. Imagine the serial-litigant’s horror when
A serial-litigant may want to draw you into a legal he discovers that he will be grilled by the same
conflict where ‘time is money’. For every solicitor’s barrister time after time!
letter you pay for the serial-litigant knows that
your costs are building up whilst he or she will 8. Fairness is a weapon
have no costs at all. The best way to defeat any claim is to be a fair
2. Take early legal advice
The less said the better. But, what you do say has You may not intend to discriminate, but the advert
to be short and to the point and checked by a on your website for ‘recent graduates’ could
lawyer first. genuinely preclude you from recruiting the best
person for the job.
3. Radio silence
Ensure all of your key staff are alerted to the A simple audit of your procedures can help ensure
problem and instruct them not to engage with the that you get the best staff without legal issues
serial litigant. getting in the way. You wouldn’t turn away
Einstein because of his grey hair. Would you?
4. Knowledge is power
Some serial-litigants can only survive if their 9. Training
multiple claims are not exposed. The best tool in The serial-litigant will be knowledgeable about
the fight against a serial-litigant is information: the employment law. A little time spent understanding
number of claims brought, strike outs, unsuccessful the system will allow you to use the law to make a
hearings, costs orders etc…we can help you with safer and fairer workplace.
this. Without this key data, you may well be taken
to a full hearing.
5. Smoke-out the serial-litigant
A serial-litigant may not be interested in a fair
solution – just money. Non-monetary help such as
an offer to look again at the individual’s CV will
6. Sharing information
A serial-litigant may well have brought claims at
different venues across the UK.
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
“Procurecos” – What?
Surely you know what a “Procureco” is? Well, just in case you have not heard about them, and cannot
find them in the dictionary just yet, we will explain: or better still let the Bar Council explain.
The groundbreaking initiative would see individual “One aspect of these new ideas is what has become Manchester’s Administrative Court Opened in January 2009
chambers encouraged to set up business units, called known somewhat unglamorously as the “Procureco”.
London set 39 Essex Street launched a Manchester branch in June 2009.
'procurecos', which would be used as a means of This is nothing more than a rather mundane name for
Chambers director Michael Meeson:
winning work direct from companies and public bodies, an incorporated vehicle which administers and procures
“Manchester is a hive of activity.” [The Lawyer]
cutting out the solicitors who generally serve as legal services. It does not provide the services itself (for
middlemen between chambers and clients. example, through employees). On the contrary, it Doughty Street Chambers opened in August 2009 in Manchester.
provides the administrative capability for others to Chambers director Robin Jackson:
Each Procureco would bring together barristers with provide services. The administration of chambers “Manchester is a strategically important site.” [The Lawyer]
solicitors and other professions, like accounting firms, through clerk’s rooms is quite close to what a
effectively enabling chambers to offer a one-stop shop Procureco would do. But the important point is that
Can we help?
to clients at a cheaper rate than solicitors. procurecos can exist to enable chambers to bid for Our facilities are: Designed for: e
W also offer:
work. • Non-branded • Meeting & Trial • Copying Printing
The move would reverse the traditional referral system
offices Preparation faxing & Wi-Fi
• At the heart of Rooms • Hot desking or a
that sees solicitors appoint chambers on behalf of Moreover, they might also be used as vehicles whereby
Manchester’s • Video Conference quiet corner
clients and would put more control in the hands of the barristers can arrange for litigators such as solicitors to
legal community Suite facility • DX exchange in
Bar, with each Procureco effectively operating a number join with them in consortia to bid for work that requires
• Located just off • Seminar, Training the building
of panels for different professions. a fully composite service of advice, litigation and Deansgate & Lecture rooms • As much tea &
advocacy. By using in a creative manner corporate • Newly refurbished • Mediation, coffee as you
The procurecos would source rather than supply work, vehicles barristers can plan to compete for work from to a high Arbitration need!
allowing solicitors and barristers working under the which they presently risk being excluded. The beauty of standard • Membership for
umbrella units to remain regulated as individuals by the such vehicles is that they do not involve the creation of individuals and
Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards partnerships between barristers. A set of chambers can chambers
Board (BSB) respectively. retain its traditional structure but increase its room for
However, if the BSB were to opt to become an entity- manoeuvre in the market by joining with other lawyers Contact our Regional Manager: Bob Moss
based regulator under changes introduced through the to create bidding units. T: 0161 839 1002
Legal Services Act, the units could start supplying work 64 Bridge Street: Manchester Legal Centre
through a fixed roster of solicitors. The advantage of a Procureco is that the Bar will still 64 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BN
maintain its traditional look and feel. This is a bolt-on T: 0161 839 1002 F: 0161 819 5205
New Bar Council Chairman Nicholas Green QC in his that can be set up easily and effectively so the Bar can DX: 14349 Manchester E: email@example.com
inaugural speech explained: offer a one-stop shop to clients." www.64bridgestreet.com
Serving the legal community in Manchester
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
“the second legal city”
You might like to see a video posted by the Law Society on their website on the topic:
“The value proposition: what investors see in law firms. “
Mail Bags for Ch
Go to the link: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/legalbreakfastJan10.page
Personalised Pla The speakers are Jeremy Hand, managing partner, Apparently the period between the 17th and 24th
Lyceum Capital, Leah G. Cooper, managing attorney, Rio January is also when the suicide rate peaks each year.
■ Sending out more than 20 bundles a day? Tinto, and Mark Jones, chairman, Addleshaw Goddard Hardly surprising as it is that desperate few days before
LLP. most get paid.
■ How about your logo and details printed on your
plastic mail bags? The issues they discuss include: Some shoes are impossible to fill
Where does the value lie for investors in law firms and Starting a new job is nerve-racking experience whatever
■ Ask for details: It is cheaper then you think! how can that value be realised? the profession or line of work. This is particularly true if
What do solicitors stand to gain from non-lawyers' you are filling the shoes of someone who had been
Email Mailpac: involvement in law firm leadership? extremely successful.
firstname.lastname@example.org How will new investment drive growth and reshape the
legal services market? Take for example a beloved veteran presenter who built
What will be the characteristics of a successful legal up a fan base over many years. That was the daunting
business in the new regulatory regime? task facing Chris Evans, who fronted his very first Radio
07734 995902 Which business models will be most attractive to 2 breakfast programme since taking over from Terry
corporate clients in the market for legal services? Wogan a few weeks ago. Promising his listeners a
Is there a first mover advantage in setting up an ABS, or "long but pleasant ride" but with "less turbulence"
should firms wait until the emerging regulatory than his previous shows, the 43-year-old apparently
framework is fully clarified? won over many fans with his debut as new host,
Can the traditional partnership model adapt to meet despite apprehension from Terry's loyal fan base. He got
the competition from new entities? the ball rolling with two Beatles' classics – All You Need
Is Love and Got to Get You into My Life – a good start.
The Law Society has also pointed out that more people Another pair of very impressive shoes to fill will be
file for divorce in January than at any other time of the those of Sir Alex Ferguson. Indeed whoever tries them
year. This January is expected to be no exception with on for size may find they just will not fit. He will leave
couples reaching breaking point due to a combination behind a record that it will almost certainly be
of dysfunctional family Christmas's and the effects of impossible to match, so you could say his successor is
the economic downturn. on a hiding to nothing before he even starts.
19 Continued on page 20...
MAILPAC IS THE TRADING NAME OF JAR HOLDINGS LIMITED, JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
THE TECHNOLOGY CENTRE ELLESMERE PORT CHESHIRE CH65 3EN
...continued from page 19
It is no different when a top clerk or CEO retires. I soon came to realise, though, that I was actually just
They have become almost an institution, and for some one of many well-qualified hopefuls wanting to make it
members no successor will even match or replace them. at the Bar. My chances of making it were nowhere near
as good as I had initially assumed. The limited number
A senior Unilever executive once told me that at senior of pupillage places available, the recent changes to
management level newly appointed executives were not legal aid funding and the greater number of solicitors
expected to deliver in their first year as they were retaining cases in-house meant that the competition
regarded as learning the business in the first six months was greater than ever. Still, I figured that even if I didn't
and working out a strategy in the second six. get a pupillage immediately my good academic
Unfortunately the Bar is not known for such patience. background and transferrable skills would at least land
me a reasonable job within the legal sector - even
BVC graduates cannot find legal work during a harsh recession. Four months later and I'm still
Legal week publishes recently the comments of an clinging onto that hope”.
impoverished BVC graduate who could not find legal
work of any sort anywhere. This provoked a stream of comments ranging from the
very sympathetic to the “what did you expect – a meal
“I always aspired to be a barrister - and having a ticket for life?” Others pointed out that he should have
good academic background and the relevant conducted better market research into job prospects
public-speaking and legal work experience I believed I before incurring such debt.
stood a good chance. I also believed that I deserved a
chance, having put in so much hard work and This just confirms that getting pupillage is mostly
accumulated so much debt. I mean, if I was good about survival of the fittest. But then the problem is
enough to be accepted by a BVC provider then surely that those defining who are the fittest vary from
I was good enough for pupillage? chambers to chambers.
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
Did you see an ABS Road show? Expansion Seen for Global Outsourcing Market
The debate over new ways to deliver legal services got under way in earnest during January 2010 with a Outsourcing providers around the world predict that demand for their services is expanding rapidly, and
number of road shows being hosted around the country, the first of which kicked off in Cardiff. The Bar they are adding staff and investing in new services to meet expected growth, according to a new survey
Council and the BSB are organised the events jointly with the six Circuits in England and Wales. WE hope from Duke University's Offshoring Research Network and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Where will it end?
to report further following the last due in Manchester on the 2nd February. The survey of 514 outsourcing service providers in 50 countries Legal services outsourcing is growing at a rate of 40 per cent
found that the industry is transforming due to the emergence of annually in India, with about 110 legal services providers in the
new providers around the world and efforts of existing country. The Philippines and Sri Lanka provide 20 per cent of
This is meant to be a thought-provoking debate over “These seminars are designed to enable a full and frank
outsourcers to expand into new markets. Outsourcing legal outsourcing.
how they provide their services and comes in the wake discussion with the profession on the new business companies in North America and India, which have long
dominated the industry, are being challenged by competition "The economic benefits of legal services outsourcing are
of the decision of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) in opportunities available. The Bar Standards Board’s
from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, in service areas undeniable; it provides the highest profit margins for services
November 2009 to liberalise the Bar’s rules in the light announcement in November signaled an historic such as contact centers, business process outsourcing, and providers and as well as the highest cost savings for companies,
information technology outsourcing. The emergence of available outsourced legal services and the
of the Legal Services Act 2007. This could see barristers, change in the provision of legal services, and the road
impact of the economic conditions have changed the perception
among other things, working in partnership with other show is indicative of the Bar Council’s desire to focus The number of service providers planning to offer new finance of the legal industry, once regarded as too sensitive to be
and accounting, human resources, and innovation services more outsourced.”
lawyers, or forming specialist procurement companies first on the needs of the circuits and practitioners.
than doubled from the previous year.
through which to deliver their services on a cost- Feedback from practitioners will be crucial in developing Can you image a team of clerks in India sorting out the diary?
Legal Services Outsourcing Emerging How farfetched is that?
effective basis. detailed guidance, which will seek to align the business
The growth of legal services outsourcing has been strong and is
interests of the profession with ensuring access to the likely to remain so, particularly in India, the survey found.
The BSB has approved the necessary rule changes to highest quality legal services in the client interest.”
the Bar’s Code of Conduct and they will shortly be
submitted to the Legal Services Board for approval.
The BSB will be keeping the profession fully informed of
their progress, and a further consultation will take place
Baroness Deech, Chair of the BSB said:
“The BSB is delighted to be playing a full part in these
in 2010 on Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), important events. Our decision in November to free up Whether you are looking for a weekend away
once the effects of the new regulatory regime have the Bar’s rules marked the culmination of two years
been assessed. work by the Alternative Business Structures Working with friends, a bonding session with your clerks’
Group. room or just a romantic winter break for two,
Ahead of the first meeting in Cardiff, Nicholas
putting it together on a realistic budget can be
Green QC, said: “Throughout this process the BSB has sought to ensure
the best quality and value for consumers of legal difficult.
“To continue to be in a position to provide high quality services, whilst preserving the unique characteristics of
advocacy services to the public, and to compete on a the Bar, such as the cab-rank rule, ensuring access to
level playing field with solicitors for the provision of justice, and independence of thought and operation. http://www.houblon-inn.co.uk
such services, some barristers will need to consider
whether their existing practice arrangements provide “These road shows form a central part of the Board’s
the best structure to compete effectively.” proportionate and considered approach to
implementing these important changes. They will
provide a vital channel to brief practitioners on the rule
changes, and to listen to their ideas and responses.”
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8 JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
Strategy for Law Firms
The Law Society is directing solicitors to a book on future strategy and looks at model forms of ABSs.
You might find the book [which I have not read] a useful guide to the way solicitors are thinking
about the future. Although primarily aimed at law firms in the UK, the book is relevant to legal firms
around the world.
According to the Law Society, Strategy for Law Firms 5. Developing a value-added strategy;
guides firms through the strategic options available to 6. Alternative Business Structures as a tool to
them and suggests how they might position themselves implement strategy;
to succeed in the market. The book provides a practical 7. Long term funding of law firms;
approach that is underpinned by sound strategic and 8. Mergers and acquisitions;
academic principles. The author offers insight, drawn 9. Law firm valuation (Michael Roch);
from his vast experience of the legal market, on a range 10. Remuneration revisited;
of topics including: 11. Governance, leadership and management in the
changing law firm environment;
• Harnessing a firm's intangible resources and 12. Summary and Prospects.
• Competitive positioning About the Author
• The creation of a value added strategic plan Nick Jarrett-Kerr LL.B is a specialist adviser to law
• Alternative Business Structures as a tool to firms world-wide on issues of strategy, governance and
implement strategy leadership development as well as all important
• Mergers business issues facing law firms as they compete in
• Law firm funding and valuations, including external difficult market conditions. In the last eight years, Nick
funding has established himself as one of the leading UK and
• Governance international advisers to law firms. He was a founder
• Profit sharing member of the (England & Wales) Law Society's Law
Management Section and served as its Chairman for
The author has created a new framework with which to two years. Nick is also is a module leader for the
analyse and assess your firm's position in the market, Nottingham Law School strategy modules and a core
and identifies and explains 15 possible models of ABS MBA faculty member.
under the new rules.
Michael Roch contributed the chapter on Law Firm
Contents Valuation and advises professional service firms on the
1. The new world; economics of their practice.
2. Understanding your assets;
3. Harnessing intellectual capital: strategies for
optimal law firm infrastructures;
4. Understanding positioning and competitive
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
- a problem shared!!
Some more of your printable offerings!
Dear Ted & Alice, Dear Ted & Alice,
Is it my fault that I forgot to do something when I I am so busy. I am surrounded by post and yellow
am completely overloaded and barely have time to post it's. No sooner do I hang up from one called
Serviced Office Facilities: go to the loo? There is no relief. than another comes in, or a barrister interrupts me
● 218 Strand offers UK and overseas lawyers the opportunity to to ask a seemingly unimportant question. I struggle
Ted: As most clerks’ rooms are run like small call
to ensure that everything is updated on the
share resources in a serviced office suite, directly opposite the centres, the following regulations may apply.
computer before I go home. Now I am in trouble
Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London WC2. for poor administration. I'd like a barrister to try
“The Health and Safety (Display Screen
● The reception is on the 3rd Floor and staffed 8am - 6pm.
Equipment) Regulations 1992 do not specify the doing this job!!
● Meeting Room available include Single rooms for 1-50 people duration or frequency of breaks or changes of
activity, as they apply to a wide variety of jobs, Ted: I hope you feel better for spilling out your anger.
up to Mediation Suites. which use display screen equipment. However, But for some it is the buzz which gets the
they do state that breaks should be taken before adrenalin going.
the onset of fatigue rather than to recuperate and
Accommodation: short, frequent breaks are more satisfactory than Alice: Does anyone’s contract mention rest breaks? The
● Fleet Street apartment available for short term rental to occasional, longer breaks. DSER also places a duty Working Time Regulations 1998 state the
professional people when in London. on employers to plan the work routine of users so following provision for rest breaks at work and
that these regular rest breaks or changes in time off:
● Superbly located studio apartment situated just off Fleet Street.
activity occur such as filing, stuffing envelopes
with information. Exact times do not necessarily Rest breaks at work
have to be specified. It is acceptable to schedule A worker is entitled to an uninterrupted break of
Disaster Recovery Suite: a period within which call handlers are free to 20 minutes when daily working time is more than
● Suite with 24/7 availability of hot desk PC’s connected choose when to take their break when it is six hours. It should be a break in working time
convenient to them. Lunch breaks are in addition and should not be taken either at the start, or at
to the Internet. to these recommendations, and call handlers must the end, of a working day.
also be allowed to go to the toilet and fetch
water/drinks when they need to. Call handlers Daily rest
should also be allowed to take a rest break after Under the Working Time Regulations 1998,
handling a stressful call.“ regulation 10, a worker is entitled to a rest period
Contact Us: of 11 consecutive hours rest in each 24 hour
I cannot see the last item working as many calls period during which he works for his employer.
218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT are stressful every day!
T: 0845 083 3000 F: 0845 083 3001 Or put another way, you should not work more
Alice: Is there a theme here? Take the next letter. than a 13 hour day!
DX: 232 London Chancery Lane E: email@example.com
www.218strand.com JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
The Wine Society’s
Guide to Wine Tasting The right pictures in your Chambers help project a professional
image and provide an inspirational environment for staff.
The benefits of learning how to taste wine are both immediate and tangible. Being able to interpret appearance, smell
and taste in the glass, and recognising the characteristics of the small number of grape varieties which lie behind most
wine labels not only enhances enjoyment, but boosts wine confidence, two excellent reasons for learning the ropes. Century Galleries Ltd, Art Rental service is unsurpassed and our flexible approach, combined with an
Anybody with working faculties and the will to succeed can do it, and, with a little practice, achieve a good standard of extensive catalogue, makes quality fine art available for all tastes at a low cost. Renting art provides the
wine appreciation. This monthly guide aims to set out the general principles of tasting and understanding wine. We have freedom to change your collection as often as you wish and ensures the workplace always looks fresh and
looked various aspects of vine growing and winemaking – this month we look at how time affects what’s in the bottle. stimulating.
In addition, it is far more economically efficient to rent art at a low cost rather than purchase it, and not tie up
your money in capital assets. As long established dealers of Fine Art , we represent many artists of
As wine gets older, it changes dramatically in taste. Harsh
international fame and have a history of finding new rising stars. Our framing and restoration division is one
tannins polymerise and soften, brash acidity and raw alcohol of the most renowned in the South of England. Our service is utilised and trusted by private clients and
interact to form compounds called esters, and primary fruit insurance companies alike.
flavours evolve into complex bouquets. When mature fruit and
alcohol are in balance, the wine can be said to have reached a We visit your Chambers to establish how many pictures are required and their preferred location. On our
platform of ‘drinkability', which may last for a number of years. second visit we will bring a selection of pictures for your consideration. Once artwork and costs are agreed,
At the end of this period, the wine is at the end of its useful we will then arrange for the pictures to be professionally installed.
life, and should be drunk up before it begins to taste dried out,
or spirity Our extensive collection is divided into four categories with over 500 pictures in each style:
Semi Abstract Impressionist Abstract Representational
There are often strict laws governing the ageing of wines before
they are released. A gran reserva Rioja, for example, must be
aged for a minimum of two years in cask and three years in
bottle before it is released for sale. Once these legal
requirements have been met, the question of when to drink it is
less straightforward. Our aim at The Society is to release a wine
in which the different elements have, in our view, reached a
degree of balance and harmony which makes it universally
palatable for a period of time. We base the calculation of a
drinking window on information from suppliers and our buyers’
many years of experience and regular tasting. Our drinking Cleaning, maintenance and insurance is included within one manageable weekly fee. These visits are a great
dates tend to be conservative, taking into account the many opportunity to make any changes to your collection.
diverse storage options used by members, from temperature-
controlled cellars to cupboards under the stairs. Client Quote: “An extensive art collection that’s affordable!”
Tim Wheeler, Senior Clerk, Harcourt Chambers.
Taste being subjective, some palates respond more warmly to
youthful charm than mellow (or potentially crusty!) old age. “ One of the best services I have ever brought into Chambers. Century Galleries are professional, smart, and
French wine drinkers, for example, are known to enjoy their Next month, we shall start looking at how to taste. the service they provide is imaginative and unique; they are all a real joy to work with. “
Bordeaux in the bloom of youth, while we British tend to favour
the other extreme of the Claret life cycle. On the other hand, For more information about The Wine Society, including how to
very mature Champagne, although loved by some, is not to join, go to www.thewinesociety.com. Other Services: Fine Art Sales, Fine Art Conservation & Restoration, Picture Framing.
everyone’s taste. It’s not a question of right or wrong, but of
making informed decisions about when to uncork a wine Life membership of The Society can be yours for a one-off
bought, for example en primeur, or whether paying a premium payment of £40, giving you a share in this co-operative
for an older bottle is worth it to you. business. Century Galleries Limited, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
T: +44 (0) 1491 575 499 F: +44 (0) 1491 575 600
28 firstname.lastname@example.org www.centurygalleries.co.uk
JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8