What you need to know

If you have a Duty Contract

Run profiles for your fee earners on briefencounter (‘be’) alongside your duty contract to ensure that you don’t miss work that by-passes the DSCC.

Make direct contact with agents using ‘be’ to ensure that your fees produce profitability. If certain clients or cases demand a personal service, know what it is costs to provide that service. Manage your use of agents to ensure contractual compliance.

Take agency work by profiling your fee earners on ‘be’. If you’re going to be there anyway, it’s profitable for both of you.

Competency based CPD - Each individual subscriber gets access to, competence based CPD, including the usual updates and proper case reports produced by leading experts and trainers.

Surely using an agent just eats into my profits?

No, it doesn’t. Directly instructing an agent is more profitable.

Have you worked out how much it costs you to employ a fee earner? Salary, pension, overheads, support staff, PC, the list goes on. Doubling an employee’s salary gives you a rough guide as to how much that employee is costing you to employ. Against a yardstick of 1,200 chargeable hours per year to break even, you can work out what your employee is costing you per hour. If it’s £40 per hour, know what jobs you’re using them for and what the remuneration for each job is.

Consider this scenario. You have a client who needs a lawyer. It could be at a police station. It could be at a court. You use ‘be’ quickly and efficiently to find a qualified lawyer for your client. The ‘be’ subscriber could already be on site or in the area and ready to take the job.

You use ‘be’ to notify lawyers in the area. Available lawyers offer to take the job. You select a lawyer who will be to your client’s liking and check them out. Your selected lawyer takes the job. You let the client know who it is (if the lawyer hasn’t already made contact by then).

The lawyer introduces themselves to your client as representing your firm. Your client’s perception is that you’ve attended in a flash. And you have. Your selected lawyer does the job as your agent. You split the fee with the lawyer. The client is still yours.

And what’s in it for the firm (or lawyer) who did the job for you? Well they just got some more work, having potentially already been on site.