Complete Counsel is an innovative digital support business which helps Barristers operate as economically and efficiently as they deem appropriate to their needs.
It is a sister company to Document Direct, and is a 21st century alternative to the 19th century Chambers structure.
Complete Counsel does not provide legal services (that’s your role) and is therefore neither a Chambers nor an alternative business structure providing legal services. It simply provides support services to Barristers who are self-regulated.
The basic level of support, which can be purchased at a monthly fee of £550 plus VAT, enables access to software for Barristers to achieve all basic functions of receipt of instructions, client responses, email, diary management and billing. This software package is supported by a 24/7 PA support provided by Document Direct with electronic alerts so as to ensure no loss of service standards, and the ability to plan your working life much better.
Beyond the basic package Barristers can purchase additional services to include room hire in London, Liverpool and Dublin, typing and document production services through Document Direct, fee collection, and on a commission and success basis, the services of a business and practice development director.
Complete Counsel operates in a way that recognises that Barristers are able, through the use of IT in particular, to undertake substantial administration of their own practices, but may still require significant support. The model involves a more effective and cost effective way of working with highly experienced support staff. It therefore avoids the exposed nature of simply being a sole practitioner, but also the level of charging made by traditional Chambers.
In practical terms, most Barristers do undertake substantial administration themselves, but usually by passing information to support staff. Most of this administration can be undertaken seamlessly as part of the task in hand, for example, by providing billing information as part of providing document production instructions.
Barristers using Complete Counsel may undertake simple administrative tasks themselves, but without noticing any increase in their workload, or may choose to delegate all such functions. The provision of 24/7 PA support recognises that there will be times when either option may be necessary. However, this support will be provided remotely and flexibly, thereby avoiding the significant costs involved in employed staff support structures.
By using the basic service at its much lower cost, Barristers using Complete Counsel will make significant savings which will be better targeted to the management and development of their practice. These services can be procured through Complete Counsel, in particular by way of practice and business development and targeted client engagement, but also further outsourced, for example by way of separate digital marketing activity. The model intends to operate in a way which will maximise efficiency and the value of services provided.