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Clerks Room Jan Clerks Room Jan


									                                                                                          I S S U E 9 8 - JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0

                                                                                               HEALTH WARNING:
                                                                             This magazine contains comments that may disturb the bar
Gill Butchard
Principal of Butchard Associates

Health Checks by Butchard Associates
Are you sure you are on top of your debt collection?
Are you sure there isn’t room for improvement?
How about booking a Health Check of your Fee Chasing?
What is involved?
■   Review of the procedures currently followed
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■   Analyse the Aged Debt : note exposure to possible write off
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■   Identify weaknesses in procedurey
■   Make recommendations to improve speed of debt collection
    and/or time savings
■   Identify cases that aren’t covered by current procedures

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   Management Reports, Database Management, Client Management,
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                                                                               PAGE 2          PAGE 12          PAGE 16           PAGE 27
                                For more info:
                  See Gill’s website at
                                                                              Your Move     Jackosn Report      Procurecos       Ted & Alice
             Email: Tel: 0772 591 1320
                                                                               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
Bob Moss
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES TO:                                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                                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
Unit 10, Poole Hall Industrial Estate,                 Jackson Report on civil litigation costs is too big for us to provide detailed
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH66 1ST.                     analysis. It remains to be seen what gets implemented. Just three
T: 0151 357 3500
                                                       proposals would change the whole civil litigation landscape never mind
F: 0151 356 3459
                                                       the rest:

                                                       •   The payment of referral fees for personal injury claims would
Corner House Design & Print Ltd                            be banned.
The Old Chapel, Manchester Road,
Carrington Village,                                    •   Before-The-Event insurance policies would be encouraged for SMEs in
Manchester M31 4BL                                         respect of business disputes and for householders as an add-on to
T: 0161 777 6000
                                                           household insurance policies.
F: 0161 777 6060
                                                       •   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.
Kelsall, Cheshire CW6 0QL. 07734 995 902

                                                       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

                                            Your Move

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
                                                                                                                                                                               Lower costs
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?
                                                                                                                                                                               hidden costs.
Gill reports:                                                     would like to share with colleagues, please contact
                                                                  Gill Butchard by email: or                                                              Flexible ordering
                                                                                                                                                                               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
month, and would especially like to pay tribute to Helen                                                                                                                       for you.
Dring, the Senior Criminal Clerk who has taken early
retirement in order to do a bit of travelling (and to                                                                                                                          Dedicated service
                                                                                                                                                                               One source, one solution means you
escape the barristers after serving more than a couple
                                                                                                                                                                               can focus on the success of your
of life sentences doing hard labour).                                                                                                                                          business.
                                                                                                                                 Tel: 0845 370 3500
                                                              2                                                            Fax: 0845 370 3501 E-mail:   Superb choice

                                        JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
                                                                                                                                                 Choose from over 30,000 product lines,
                                                                                                                                                                               all available from just one supplier.

    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.
of databases.
                                                                      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
                                                                                         what capacity?
                                                                                         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
                                                                                         in Chambers?
                                                                                         Becoming Senior Clerk here – at a great Crime set with
                                                                                         a first class reputation.

                                                                                         What has been your worst moment

                                                                                         in Chambers?
                                                                                         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?
                                                                                                                                                      VW Golf.
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!
corporate identity
 to large format

                                    Wilberforce Table
   For all your
 creative design
    and print

0161 777 6000

                                                        JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8
                                                       ARTICLE                                                                                                                         ARTICLE

            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.”
                                                                                                                       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...

                                     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
   ...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:
inaugural speech explained:                                     offer a one-stop shop to clients."                   
                                                                                                                               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”

                                                                                                  Interesting video?
                                                                          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:
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.                                    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.
                                                               Goodbye January!
                                                               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
   ...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
                                                    ARTICLE                                                                                                                             ARTICLE

            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.      
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.”

                                                             22                                                                                                                       23
                                     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:
                                                                                                                                   27                                                                                           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
5. Time
                                                                                                                                         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                             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

                                            JA N UA RY 2 0 1 0 ~ I S S U E 9 8

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