Legal Economy – meeting barristers’ needs
The challenges of carving out a practice as a barrister revolve around work. If you aren’t as busy as you would like, who is getting the briefs? Why are they getting them and not you? Are you being considered? Is your clerk putting your name forward? Is your clerk even being asked to put names forward?
While Legal Economy can’t answer those questions, we can level the playing-field.
Legal Economy lets:
  1. Solicitors post work for which they require a barrister, with a request for tenders from barristers by a nominated time; and
  2. Available barristers tender for the work.
All the tenders are presented to the solicitor, and the solicitor chooses who to engage.
We hope that Legal Economy will present a new way for you to fill your calendar, and to get your name in front of the solicitors who are deciding who to brief.
Will other barristers and solicitors find out how much I charge?
Only the solicitor who submitted the work to Legal Economy will see that you have:
  • (a) Tendered for a particular piece of work; and
  • (b) How much you have tendered.
Other barrister users may see that a tender for a particular sum has been submitted and your gender and number of years’ call. However, your identity is not disclosed to other barristers.
Will I have enough information to submit a properly-considered tender?
We hope so, and if you don’t have enough information, don’t submit a tender until you consider that your questions about the work have been answered to your satisfaction.
Legal Economy has a “question and answer” function so that you can ask the solicitor who posted the work for any additional information. So, remember to ask questions if you think that the description of the work given by the solicitor is too imprecise for you to be able to tender.
If I’m successful, will I have to disclose my costs in accordance with the Legal Profession Uniform Law?
Generally not unless there are modifications made by you or the solicitor to the Standard Tender Terms which mean that disclosure is required. Of course, the obligation to comply with the law is yours, so read the Standard Tender Terms carefully with a copy of the legislation alongside.
Will I still be paid if the work doesn’t go ahead?
The Standard Tender Terms try to replicate what happens in the real world. There’s a little more nuance to it than this, but if the solicitor notifies you that you will not be required before you have started work then you cannot render a bill. If, however, you have started work (and the solicitor hasn’t reserved their right to cancel by a certain date) then you can send a bill that reflects the proportion of the work that you have done based on the proportion of the tendered work which is complete.
Does Legal Economy charge me?
No. Legal Economy is free for solicitors and barristers to use – solicitors only pay the fees that they have agreed to pay barristers.