Legal consultancy becomes first SRA firm to use BARCO


Chantal-Aimee Doerries

Doerries: appetite for BARCO “within solicitors’ firms”

The Legal Director, a legal consultancy which provides in-house lawyers to businesses on a contract basis, has become the first firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to use the Bar Council’s third-party escrow account.

The SRA said in December last year that it had issued its first waiver allowing a firm to use BARCO, but the identity of the firm remained a mystery.

The Legal Director describes itself on its website as “not like a traditional firm of solicitors” in providing services to clients “in a way that suits the provider’s business model” but not necessarily the client’s needs.

Instead, the firm says it provides businesses with experienced lawyers on an “ongoing, but part-time or flexible basis”, acting as an in-house lawyer and “key member” of the senior management team.

James Mallender, director of The Legal Director, said: “Using BARCO is a no-brainer for us because much of our work is in-house advisory.

“Our clients can now use us for their financial transactions and, as we’re not handling their money, they have the peace of mind that their funds are completely secure.

“It broadens our service offering and keeps our costs low because the regulatory burden of maintaining a dedicated client account was complicated and expensive. It is another factor that helps set The Legal Director apart from other law firms.”

BARCO operates by holding client funds in a third-party Barclays escrow account and not releasing them until the work is completed. Charges are set at 2% of total legal fees and decrease on a sliding scale to 0.75%.

Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, chairman of the Bar Council, said: “BARCO was originally set up for barristers who do direct access work – those that are qualified to take instructions directly from clients – and for barristers instructed by international clients and international law firms.

“However, in recent months it has become clear there is an appetite for BARCO within solicitors’ firms too. The Legal Director is the first of those firms to see the benefits of BARCO, not only for them, but for their clients.”

The SRA said in December that it had three more requests to use BARCO in the pipeline from firms it regulated.

Tags:




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


A new route to practice rights for chartered legal executives

Following approval from the Legal Services Board in May 2022, CILEx Regulation has launched an alternative route for chartered legal executives to obtain independent practice rights.


NFTs, the courts and the role of injunctions

In May, news broke that a non-fungible token was the subject of a successful injunction made by the Singapore High Court. The NFT in question is part of the very valuable Bored Ape Yacht Club series.


Matthew Pascall

Low-value commercial cases – an achievable challenge for ATE insurers

There are many good claims brought for damages that are likely to be significantly less than twice the cost of bringing the claim. These cases present a real challenge for insurers.


Loading animation