Legal Aid

Expansion of Bar pilot: new contract managers appointed

PUBLISHED September 28, 2012

28 September 2012

New recruits for Bar contract management team to work with more chambers

Successful efforts to build good working relations with chambers are to be expanded.

Three new recruits to the Bar contract management team will help to expand the Bar pilot to around 250 chambers.

The new contract managers will be contacting the additional chambers in the coming months.

The table below shows the names of the contract managers who will be covering selected chambers in the named circuits.

 Circuits  Contract managers
South Eastern  Paul Benjamin, Jenny Welch and Carl Batty
Western  Paul Benjamin and Carl Batty
Northern  Tracey Courtenay-Williams
North Eastern  Tracey Courtenay-Williams
 Midland  Henry Drake
 Wales and Chester  Henry Drake

The Bar pilot started with just two contract managers working with 60 chambers in England and Wales. The pilot has been supported by the Bar Council and the Institute of Barristers' Clerks.

Bar pilot aims

Key aims of the pilot include giving advice and support to make sure:

  • claims are submitted accurately
  • payments can be made first time
  • information is provided about changes to legal aid.

Changes include the legal aid reform programme and the LSC's transition to an executive agency in April 2013.

Bar contract managers are keen to look at issues from chambers' point of view. In order to achieve this they have:

  • established direct relationships with chambers
  • worked with representative bodies and attended professional events
  • held regular meetings with circuit leaders.

Opportunities to share information

Professional events are especially useful for building relationships and sharing information.

For example, the LSC's case management team ran training sessions in family and crime processing at the Institute of Barristers' Clerks' annual conference.

Further information

Email: Contract manager, Tracey Courtenay-Williams, for questions about the Bar pilot expansion.