Retainer Service

I have spent nearly 7 years battling through LAA compliance on my own and the extremely valuable retainer I now have in place means I do not have to any longer. It's a real weight off my mind, especially in these difficult times. Within 2 weeks it has paid for itself several times over. Cannot recommend the team at DG Legal highly enough.

Jodie Leonard
Director | Boyle Tricks Leonard

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.

Services Usually Included in our Retainer Arrangement

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.

 

Compliance Bulletin

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.

Tenders

We have prepared and submitted hundreds of error free tenders for crime and civil legal aid contracts.

We use a minimum of four consultants 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.

For anyone with a legal aid contract in Crime I strongly recommend DG Legal with particular reference to Steve Keeling. His expert knowledge, thoroughness and response rate are all second to none. We are retainer client’s and I must say the service really is impeccable. We have held a legal aid contract for a very long time now however, since being with Steve Keeling, whom not to mention was previously employed by the LAA for a number of years, we have passed all of our audits with flying colours. At the end of a recent audit the auditor in fact stated the LAA was very impressed with our firm. I have to say DG Legal really are the best when it comes to compliance.

Gurdip Kaur
Practice Manager | Mann & Co

Audits

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.

GDPR

We were ahead of the curve on the single biggest compliance issue of 2018.

We have delivered a number of expert courses on GDPR and for retainer clients we provide a toolkit and manual.

GDPR Toolkit

Our GDPR toolkit comprises of:

  • Data Security & Information Governance Manual
  • GDPR Guidance Notes
  • Data Protection Privacy Notice (for use in client care letters for cases started after 25 May 2018)
  • Website Privacy Notice (for use on your website)
  • Register of Personally Owned Devices
  • Information data Audit/processing template incorporating guidance
  • Template Data Processing Agreement
  • Paragraph for Inclusion in Experts and other Instructions

Data Security & Information Governance Manual

The Data Security & Information Governance Manual includes the following policies & procedures:

  • Data Protection
  • Information Management & Security
  • Transfer of Data to Third Parties
  • Cybercrime and Fraud Prevention
  • E-mail
  • Acceptable Use of IT Facilities
  • Use of Personally-Owned Devices
  • Credit Cards
  • Archiving, Retention & Destruction
  • End of Employment

Quality Assurance

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 has 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.

I highly recommend DG Legal. The advice and assistance I have been provided with has been invaluable in the LAA Tender and an SQM application. All the members of the team I have dealt with are knowledgeable (they are experts in their field), accessible (quick responses to calls and emails) and friendly. In addition, the courses on offer are informative and a really good opportunity to network. As a retainer client, I feel DG Legal's services are excellent value for money.

Charles Njindou
Principal | Charles Paulin & Co. Solicitors

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 SRA Standards and Regulations Reforms
          • SRA Financial Services Activity questionnaire
          • Data Security
          • The SRA Competence Statement

SRA Communications

We can assist with helping you to respond quickly and appropriately to all SRA requests and annual returns.

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.

I have had the benefit of some excellent support and advice from David Gilmore and his colleagues at D G Legal over many years, and, most recently, from Catherine Harper whose services I recommend without hesitation. Dealing with Catherine felt like having an extra specialist on our in house compliance team. She completely understood what was required and provided excellent advice and support in a professional and proactive way. Catherine was completely on top of Lexcel 6.1, understood our approach to the challenges of GDPR and the new Money Laundering regulations, and offered informed and practical assistance throughout. The whole experience was a very professional, calm and reassuring one and I look forward to working with the DG Legal team again on our next compliance challenge. I would also commend DGLegal to anyone seeking advice regarding any aspect of the new SRA code of conduct coming into force on the 25th of November [2019].

Phil Walsh
Partner & Practice Manager | Miles & Partners LLP

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.

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 further details, please see our Training Courses page.

Excellent legal consultants, we have been a retainer client for many years. David and the team are always there for help and guidance. They also hold regular training courses, which are very informative.

Duncan Frost
Partner | Foxes Solicitors

Cost

The price for this service depends upon the size of the firm and the precise scope of the service. A typical cost for a high street practice is £1,000 per month.

There are discounts available for small legal aid practices and/or where firms pay 12 months in advance.

Contact Us

To discover more about how we can help your firm with compliance issues, please call 01509 214 999, send us an email or complete our free enquiry form.