PegasusMRA brings a unique perspective to the aims, objectives and delivery of public access (PA).
Most chambers, from our experience, are currently achieving gross PA work turnover levels of between 5 and 10%. However, most of this work is currently generated through individual effort rather than being co-ordinated through chambers or dedicated teams. Undoubtedly, some barristers are undertaking high levels of public access work – some as high as 100% – mainly because individually, they have organised themselves well with targeted marketing and by delivering high standards of agreed levels of client care.
Chambers may, however, be missing a trick. The legal market is changing increasingly quickly and the Bar, as a whole, needs to look at every opportunity to retain market share; diversify into new markets and/or develop new areas of work.
PA provides a unique opportunity for barristers to widen their service and market base. It is becoming increasingly clearer, that some clients do not want to instruct both a solicitor and a barrister. They are perfectly capable of fulfilling the role of a litigant in person. What they want is an advocate to represent them but who can also develop a clear case strategy and guide them through the litigation process.
This market, if properly developed, need not compete with solicitors but should complement the solicitor/barrister relationship. In fact, it provides a unique opportunity to re-frame relationships with solicitors into a mutual referral relationship.
To fully leverage this opportunity will involve:
- chambers and individual barristers re-thinking relationships with clients – changing from a one-off transactional approach to a client development and retention approach;
- barristers increasingly working in teams to market to, develop and leverage existing and future opportunities and sources of work;
- chambers implementing and supporting more standardised systems and processes to aid efficiency and profitability;
- chambers designing and implementing streamlined systems to manage risk more effectively;
- chambers implementing case management systems; client care processes and business development strategies; and
- providing more appropriate training, coaching and development opportunities for chambers’ support staff.
All of these areas will inevitably involve changing thought processes, mindsets, systems and skills development.
So how can PegasusMRA add value in this process?
- Our unique experience base within public access: Andrew Dines and Elspeth Mills Rendall have, between them, trained and accredited nearly 2,000 barristers (for the Bar Council) in public access work (30% of the total currently qualified) whilst Martin Hart was the Head Clerk of …. Chambers developing a substantial portfolio of PA work for his Chambers.
- Our strategy model: This enables PegasusMRA to support chambers and individual barristers in developing appropriate and most importantly realistic strategies.
- Implementation: Client demands often mean that implementation of business plans is one of the hardest things to do. PegasusMRA can help and support chambers and barristers to ensure plans are implemented and followed through from conception to completion.