Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, September 07, 2012

Crime Solicitor Duty Rota Slot Shop and November 2012 CDS 12 deadline

Crime Solicitor Duty Solicitor Rota Slot Shop is open for business for November 14th 2012 CDS12 Deadline

A new way of finding somewhere to lodge slots and get crime work has been introduced by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. The agency has been working with crime firms for over 10 years on duty solicitor, higher court advocate and police station vacancies.

They have set up an online Rota Slot Shop for Duty Solicitors. So many firms are now using freelancers as well as salaried staff the company has decided to dedicate a mini-site to assisting with the sale and purchase of slots as well as salaried duty solicitor roles.

You can register your details for the site, or if you are already a candidate with Ten-Percent just drop an email over with your requirements.

The agency will post your information onto the site (anonymously) and keep you updated with potential offers of purchase of slots, work or salaried roles in your area.

To visit the Duty Solicitor Rota Slot Shop simply go to www.crime-solicitor.co.uk

Monthly retainers in the last round of CDS12 duty solicitor rota signings ranged from around £400 to £1,200, although higher figures were reported in some areas of London.


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1 comment:

Jonathan Fagan said...

To add to the above article - we recently received a very interesting letter from the LSC regarding the duty solicitor rotas and within a few days of writing this article and posting the web page.

A director of communications sent us a letter within 3 days of the page going live, explaining that duty solicitors do not own their slots, duty solicitors cannot be under a contract of service and duty solicitors have to work for a minimum of 2 days per week for a firm in order to comply with the contract.

I have posted the letter on the website as I think it is very helpful to law firms to know how the LSC is thinking! We have since changed some of the wording on the site so as to take out the offending bits about selling rota slots, although this is of course in reality what most duty solicitors do every time they have to go through the 6 monthly CDS12 deadlines.

At the same time as this we have also recently received an email from an LSC family supervisor saying that she has recently been to a course where the LSC made clear that supervisors cannot be external and must be employed FULL TIME by the contracted firm.

I suspect the LSC really do not have a clue how firms are surviving on the hourly rates paid. The answer is that everything, particularly staff salaries, have to be shed in order to do this.

Looking at the current rates for family law, the rate for London for advocacy, attendance and preparation is £48.74 per hour. Even if a solicitor was managing to bill 7 hours per day at this rate for 48 weeks of the year, the maximum amount it is possible to earn doing LSC funded family law per solicitor is £81,883.20.

Working on the one third rule, ie 1/3 profit, 1/3 salary and 1/3 costs, the maximum salary a solicitors' firm can possibly pay to a solicitor in London to be their LSC family supervisor is £27,294.40. This would require someone to be working 10-12 hour days due to the non-billable work, for 5 days a week, flat out.

Are the Legal Services Commission seriously suggesting that a 15 year PQE LSC Supervisor with Panel membership or Resolution accreditation is going to work a 60 hour week for £27,294.40? Apparently, according to the letter we received, the only exception to salaried status is for partners. How lucky they are!

I suspect one of the reasons the LSC is claiming they are going to crack down on consultancy arrangements (which in reality keep the whole LSC work going as solicitors go off and find better remunerated work to support them including plumbing) is that it is stopping the LSC from shifting the work over in the longer term to companies able to offer economies of scale by using vast armies of paralegals and advocates.

One of the reasons law firms and solicitors spend time trying to work out arrangements that include monthly retainers and hourly rates is so that both can survive. If the LSC were more realistic as to the rates being paid at present for legally aided work it may remove a lot of the need for lawyers to work out ways of working that legitmately fit the LSC contractual requirements.

After all, I don't hear of many senior LSC staff working for £27,294.40.... Happy to retract this comment of course if they are all working 60 hour weeks for £25k.

Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a former, fairly inept, crime solicitor with plenty of experience dealing with the LSC! Further articles on all topics available at www.legalrecruitment.blogspot.com.

Parts of this article have also been published as an entry in our Legal Recruitment Newsletter at www.legal-recruitment.co.uk