Most of our clients prefer to use our services on a retainer basis simply because the cost is far cheaper than instructing us on an hourly rate or fixed fee basis. The scope and nature of the services provided tends to vary from firm to firm, as each organisation has different needs and priorities.
The services usually included in our retainer arrangement are explained below.
Professional Grade Cloud COLP & COFA Software
We are the only specialist consultancy firm in the legal sector that has developed and rolled out high quality cloud based COLP & COFA compliance software. Unlike other products, this system is built for speed and simplicity. Rather than incorporating superfluous features, it is designed to get the job done in as little as 10 minutes or less per month. If you use it, you will be able to demonstrate to the firm’s managers and the SRA that you are compliant with the SRA Standards and Regulations.
A highly rated concise compliance bulletin covering what you need to know and what action you must take.
This document is provided on a regular basis and includes news and updates from regulators including the Law Society, Legal Aid Agency, Information Commissioner’s Office and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It is written in plain English and provides clear guidance and, where appropriate, specimen wording to adopt.
We are the country’s leading experts on legal aid and SRA audits. We have 25 consultants with up to date knowledge and skills about the scope and nature of each and every audit. For instance, we provide oral advice in advance of every legal aid Contract Manager visit and confirm all advice provided to you in writing.
We are ahead of the curve on the single biggest compliance issue of 2018. We have delivered a number of expert courses on this topic. For retainer clients we provide a toolkit and manual.
This toolkit comprises of:
- Data Security & Information Governance Manual
- Information Audit template
- Privacy notices for use in client care letters
- Website data and privacy notice
The Manual includes the following policies & procedures:
- Data Protection
- Information Management & Security
- Transfer of Data to Third Parties
- Cybercrime and Fraud Prevention
- Acceptable Use of IT Facilities
- Use of Personally-Owned Devices
- Credit Cards
- Archiving, Retention & Destruction
- End of Employment
Expert Advisory Notes
Whenever there is a significant reform requiring your attention and action we prepare a plain English briefing explaining precisely what you need to do to remain compliant. Examples of recent advisory notes are:
- 2017 Money Laundering Regulations
- The new SRA Codes of Conduct
- SRA Financial Services Activity questionnaire
- Data Security
- The SRA Competence Statement
We can assist with helping you to respond quickly and appropriately to all SRA requests and annual returns
We have assisted hundreds of firms with their quality assurance assessments and have a 100% pass record. Our approach to recruit gamekeepers, has led to us to become market leaders in this field. David Gilmore and Stuart Lee have trained hundreds of auditors to become SQM auditors. On behalf of The Law Society, we have also trained dozens of people to become licensed Lexcel Assessors and / or Consultants.
We have prepared and submitted hundreds of error free tenders for legal aid contracts. We use a minimum of four consultants from a team of twenty-five working on just one tender to ensure that no errors are made. We also use video capture software to prove the submission of an error free tender in the event of a dispute with the Legal Aid Agency. This was a godsend with one tender where the LAA wrongly alleged that a tender was not successfully submitted through the Bravo Solutions portal. We are proud not to have ever been part of an unsuccessful tender.
Business and Marketing Planning
We are able to provide practical assistance and ideas that work based upon experience gained by visiting more than 800 firms over the past 20 years. For example, we can teach you about how our clients have been able to get to the top of the Google search rankings and prove it to you.
Unlimited Telephone and Email Support
Our retainer clients have access to as much advice and assistance as they need. They are provided with a preferred email address. Replies to retainer clients are prioritised above all other emails.
Precedents / Templates
We ensure that our clients have up to date accurate documents. We have dozens of templates including a Quality Manual which complies with SRA, LAA and other legal and regulatory obligations. The Quality Manual is adapted to your firm’s needs and is updated regularly. Our category specific client care letters help ensure that you meet your obligations.
Courses and materials
Our courses and guidance materials are different to most other providers. We don’t simply provide a meaningless set of PowerPoint slides. Our talks are accompanied by detailed course notes so that delegates don’t need to take notes or possess a powerful memory! Courses are always discounted for retainer clients. For instance, the current LAA audits guide course is half price for retainer clients. For further details please see https://dglegal.co.uk/services/training/
The price for this service depends upon the size of the firm and the precise scope of the service.