Tag Archive | "best value tendering"

Solicitor Profile: Carl Woolf on Digital Working


As recently as February 2013, Justice Minister Damian Green empathised that there was a specific failure to exploit technology in the legal sector. Carl’s strong business orientation is at the forefront of his practice and he particularly relies on technology within the courtroom environment. The notion of Digital Working is something he embraces and he recognises the link to cutting firm expenditure.

The Justice Secretary’s recent announcement bringing forward the implementation of Best Value Tendering is not welcomed in quite the same light. “Tendering for contracts is an absolute nightmare for everyone”, he says, and this will inevitably result “in the lowest possible price for the service.” He quotes on speculation likening Eddie Stobbart Law operating a Crime ‘Tesco Law’ service and its worrying implications for smaller practices. He also recognises the trend emerging of ‘safety in numbers’ to fight against the emergence of a potential Eddie Stobbart Law firm.

“One has to wonder what incentive there will be to promote justice and quality as opposed to price and profit”, Carl asks.
But he also accepts that digital working will definitely help to cut costs. “If you can have typists that work from home, if solicitors don’t need their travel expenses paying because they can go to a court closer to their home and access their files, dictation and email via iPad then that will hopefully save us substantial amounts.”

The importance of tablet devices in day to day criminal proceedings is empathised more. Carl states he is using his iPad in his current trial to access digital case files via his remote access case management system. All of his papers are scanned and emailed over to his iPad. He rarely drags around big volumes of books and case papers because “everything is there in a convenient bundle”, but only on the proviso “as long as you have a power source.” In 2013 he has not carried one hard copy book because their digital working allows for electronic copies to be accessed.

Visit Meldrum Solicitors – www.meldrumsolicitors.com

Posted in Law Updates, Legal ITComments (0)

Solicitor Profile: Carl Woolf


Carl Woolf, partner and solicitor advocate of Meldrum Solicitors in St Albans, discusses the implications of digital working and an intriguing perspective on legal aid criminal defence solicitors.

He was also the lucky winner of an Apple iPad Mini via the Upper Case Legal Journal relaunch competition! Carl Woolf, partner and co-founder at one of the foremost criminal practices in Hertfordshire, Meldrum Solicitors, is responsible for the running of their Crown Court Advocacy. Read the full story

Posted in Law UpdatesComments (0)

Best Value Tendering – at the double


In July 2005, Lord Falconer, then Lord Chancellor, asked Lord Carter to examine how to improve the arrangements for purchasing and procuring publicly funded legal services, particularly criminal defence services.

In his report, published in February 2006, Lord Carter recommended fixed pricing for all criminal legal aid work; a managed market, awarding contracts to efficient and good quality suppliers; and managed price competition between efficient, good quality suppliers. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal Aid, Legal Practice ManagementComments (0)

Best Value Tendering Part 2


The Law Society claimed a partial victory when, after lobbying hard for a proper pilot and full evaluation of the proposals, the LSC promised that decisions on any roll out will not be taken until full pilots have been evaluated, which will not be before 2013. “ Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)

Unified Contract Agreement – The Reactions


On the 2nd April a joint statement was issued by the Law Society, Legal Services Commission and Ministry of Justice regarding the agreement they reached on the unified contract. This follows the recent Court of Appeal judgement about the civil legal aid contract. Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)

Judicial Review Settlement & its Effect on Crime Practitioners


As an update to our earlier piece on the unified contract, here is the lowdown on what the deal means for criminal practitioners. A number of significant concessions were negotiated during the consultation Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)


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