Sweet & Maxwell and the Government Legal Service pilot innovative approach to delivering training

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17 January 2013

Sweet & Maxwell, part of Thomson Reuters and a leading provider of solutions to the legal industry, has collaborated with The Government Legal Service (GLS) to pilot an innovative solution that delivers legal training to lawyers employed by the British government. The solution, a modular training webinar with CPD accreditation, extends the reach of GLS training programs, and is a more effective and flexible way of training the 2,000 government lawyers located across the country.

The online training solution, which is the first of its kind in the GLS, was created as part of the government’s aim of bringing about a more digital civil service. It is also  in keeping with the government’s ‘digital by default’ strategy, which is designed to make the most of digital technology in order to drive better services, reach a wider audience and lower costs.

At launch, the solution will deliver an initial training module focused on the topic of consultation, an area relevant to lawyers across the GLS; whether they work in advisory, or in litigation teams. Over time, it is envisaged that modules may cover other essential topics, such as EU law, disclosure and freedom of information.

Each module features a webinar hosted by experienced presenters together with expert commentary by outside counsel. Designed to be both engaging and informative, the webinars involve lively discussions as well as short interviews with key GLS staff, plus authoritative content from Thomson Reuters Westlaw solution. In addition, the use of professional filming techniques, such as the use of multiple camera angles, adds to the high-quality production value of the webinars and creates a more captivating presentation.

The training solution is expected to deliver a range of additional benefits to the GLS and its lawyers, including: reducing the cost per head of training; cutting the cost and time associated with travel; improving flexibility of access to training, and helping lawyers achieving SRA and Bar Standards Board accredited CPD points.

“This has been a highly collaborative venture with the team at Sweet & Maxwell, and we’re delighted with the final format of the new online webinar,” said Rameen Ghobadian, a lawyer based in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. “We can see it has the potential to complement some of our more traditional face-to-face training methods and we will explore implementing it in key areas, such as in the delivery of our training on administrative law.”

“We’re committed to delivering high quality professional development training in the legal sector and we’re extremely pleased with this latest solution,” said Teri Hawksworth, managing director, Thomson Reuters Sweet & Maxwell. “Early signs suggest users are very positive about the webinar’s format and particularly like the look and feel. We hope to build on our work with the GLS and look forward to extending the scope of the webinars to include other essential training topics.”

The Government Legal Service consists of approximately 2,000 lawyers working in the legal teams of 30 Departments of State, regulatory bodies and other Government organisations, including the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and HM Revenue & Customs. GLS lawyers advise Ministers and officials on their powers and responsibilities litigate on their behalf and ensure that official decisions comply with the law.

Sweet & Maxwell, through its highly acclaimed online services Lawtel and Westlaw UK and its print and other digital publications, is now the leading provider of information and solutions to the legal and professional markets in the UK and Ireland.

Part of  Thomson Reuters and with over 200 years of history and heritage in legal publishing, Sweet & Maxwell offers detailed and specialist knowledge, understanding, interpretation and commentary across a wide range of subjects in a variety of formats to meet customers’ needs – online, books, journals, periodicals, looseleafs and DVDs.

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