A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for their matters.
Specialist barrister software company taLaw announced today that it has launched its new service BarristerSELECT, which aims to streamline the briefing process for solicitors.
Stephen Foley (pictured), founder and CEO of taLaw, told Lawyers Weekly that BarristerSELECT will be a significant timesaver for solicitors.
“BarristerSELECT is really a new product to help solicitors find barristers more easily, particularly in the NSW region where there’s over 80 barristers' chambers,” Mr Foley said.
“Solicitors can spend hours on end calling different chambers, trying to find the best, and available, barrister for their client’s brief. We are giving this time back, as well as access to a wide range of chambers, with our intuitive online form that takes a maximum of five minutes to complete.
“BarristerSELECT is a central service where the solicitor can come and put in their requirements and that gets sent out to the most progressive chambers in Sydney. What we mean by progressive chambers is chambers that are willing to take on technology, and take on this type of technology to find the right barristers.”
Mr Foley said the service uses the knowledge of barristers’ clerks to find the best barrister for a particular matter.
“Good lists or good chambers will have barristers’ clerks that know their barristers very well and know who’s most suitable for the job,” he said.
“For the solicitor and barrister it’s a bit like a matchmaking service, but it’s the clerk that is the hub in the middle, that is the trusted adviser.
“It’s in their interest only to put the right barristers forward, because if they don’t it reflects on their chambers, so we’re leveraging the clerk as the [focal] point in this system.”
BarristerSELECT also has an equitable briefing option that solicitors can select. This will encourage the clerk to put forward the best female barrister for the brief, with the aim of achieving the NSW government’s directive that 20 per cent of briefs be responded to by women by July 2018.
“At the moment only 22 per cent of the bar are women, and we’re all trying to support a movement that at least makes sure that 20 per cent-plus women are getting briefed, and we want to move that forward to higher numbers so that women feel more encouraged to come to the bar and practise,” Mr Foley said.
BarristerSELECT is currently available in NSW. Mr Foley said there is potential for a Victorian expansion, depending on the response of the NSW market.
BarristerSELECT is free to use for solicitors. Chambers are charged $165 per successful engagement.
Pictured: taLaw founder and CEO Stephen Foley