Barristers chambers clerks’ room reviews

We have undertaken a number of barristers chambers clerks’ room reviews.

Many clerks’ rooms have remained unchanged in the way they work for many years. This often reflects the traditional way many chambers are managed and the resistance of some barristers to change. While chambers’ clients are embracing enormous changes at a fast pace many clerks’ rooms find it hard to keep up with the increasing demands of such tech-savvy and business-oriented clients. Similarly, the cuts in Local Authority spending, reductions in legal aid fees and the increasing trend for solicitors to keep work in house are putting additional strain on clerks and the way they work.

Direct Public Access has become a major part of some chamber’s income stream. However, there are those chambers, otherwise well suited and equipped to do the work, where the clerks are missing opportunities because the clerks’ room and individual clerks aren’t sufficiently aware, trained or organised to take and develop them.

The demands of barristers, clients and the ever increasing need to manage the on-screen diary leave clerks little time to see a broader picture, become involved with the business strategy of chambers and to reach the tactical targets chambers has.

Competition is with us now, with or without the possible introduction of price into the equation, and it will gather pace.

A Review of a clerks’ room typically involves:

  • A full review and rewriting of job descriptions
  • Setting up staff appraisal schemes with a view to personal development and increasing working efficiency
  • Personal mentoring of clerks
  • Working with the Senior Clerk to maximise their skills and experience for the benefit of chambers
  • Ensuring clerks meet the needs of the ‘internal client’ (barristers) and the ‘external client’ (solicitors etc)
  • Business Development/Sales training
  • Business Planning and Strategy training and implementation