CURRENTLY HEAD OF FAMILY & CRIME DEPARTMENT LPS SOLICITORS

 HEAD OF FAMILY DEPARTMENT (‘HOD’) (INCLUDING PRIVATE CRIMINAL FILES)• OPTIMAL SOLICITORS

This had been an exciting role specifically undertaken because of the unenviable challenges posed. In this role, I had the autonomy of being solely responsible for the management and growth of the family department. This includes Fee Earning, People & Operations, Marketing (partly) & Business Development and Financial Risk & Compliance matters.

I had undertaken this role as I am a positive individual with strong communication skills and possess excellent technical ability with a proven track record for handling the spectrum of family and matrimonial law (including divorce, children matters, financial proceedings, and domestic violence cases). It has evidenced my ability to strategically build and maintain a successful department. I had employed, trained and managed a support team that had assisted me to progress and to handle a caseload of a few hundred clients privately funded cases. This included re-training a solicitor and training three paralegals.

I was initially handed a small caseload of files, consisting in the main of divorce proceedings and many cases with little or no prospects. The clients were predominantly of an eastern European background with many not speaking English.

In terms of progress under my leadership:

  • I managed the on-going client files, dealt with issues (including potential risk issues), progressed and reduced the files to those that could be progressed both from a legal and/or commercial aspect. I analysed each case file, noted issues, problem solved, prepared plan of actions and ensured the matters were progressed under my procedures and systems.
  • The new client enquiries were normally dealt with by an entirely separate department. I felt concerned about the number of conversions. The firm envisaged two new client file conversions a week (further to regular marketing). I took all family and criminal enquiries into my department and trained my staff to take these calls alongside me. The conversion numbers had been immense with approximately one conversion a day on average. In the best month, we had converted over 40 new client files in one month (all private fee-paying clients).
  • I had drafted all precedents used in the areas of divorce, financial remedy and child arrangement order proceedings.
  • The file numbers increased substantially and I managed a caseload of a few hundred plus on-going private paying client files (not including matters already concluded and billed), ranging from simple to complex matters. Including, but not limited to, separation (divorce, judicial separation, nullity etc), financial remedy proceedings, child arrangement order proceedings, agreements (i.e. pre-nuptial /post-nuptial/separation agreements) etc.

 

  • I had set in place processes, procedures, and systems in order to ensure the day to day management and overall progression of the department.  I will always try to implement systems to save time, costs and ensure the maximum output for a growing department that is conscious of costs. The systems I had implemented ranged from very specific systems to ensure near-perfect file management processes, reduce risk of errors and unnecessary complications (to the extent that any file can be considered by an external assessor and not be a cause for concern).

 

  • The further systems related to ensuring the progression of a high standard of legal work within files, conversion of new files, training for staff (overall), billing and heavy input into marketing strategies. The systems implemented ensured not only short term growth but ensured that the procedures and processes were in place to ensure long-term success and the capability to handle a much greater caseload.

I had interviewed, built up and trained a team of highly motivated and competent staff within the department. This currently includes three completely inexperienced multi-lingual Paralegals and a Solicitor (specialized in personal injury only). This required a ‘hands-on’ approach with extensive supervision to ensure excellent client service is delivered consistently, efficiently and as profitably as possible.

I  had heavy involvement in the marketing for this department to encourage and promote the image and ethos of the firm. This includes expansion from the current client base to an expansive and wide-ranging client base. This also included expansion strategies in terms of marketing (including online marketing) to expand the client base across England & Wales. I dealt with clients across the majority of cities in England and Wales.

  • This also included but was not limited to, drafting the contents for the entire family website, physical marketing events (sourcing, attending and deriving income), social media content (in part) and drafting articles.
  • I had been responsible for the financial, risk and compliance aspects. This included achieving agreed financial objectives set for the Department and other KPIs, complying with regulations, and managing risks. I had maintained and ensured compliance with and to be fully aware of all aspects of requirements imposed on a Solicitor by the Solicitors Act, Solicitors Accounts Rules and Trust Account Rules, and all other statutory and Law Society / SRA rules and regulations from time to time in force for the conduct of the business of a solicitor.

The intensive hard work had derived results above and beyond those forecasts. The hard work has resulted in:

✓  increasing income at least four/fivefold on average (per month);

✓  increasing new client conversions substantially (on average one a day);

✓  increasing and training the family department team from 1 to 5 staff;

✓  the streamlining of our working systems to ensure the workload is maintained and turnaround without delay and often on the same day .

✓  increasing the client base approximately fivefold;

✓  increasing the client base to include clients across England & Wales

 

Prior to May 2018

Client: S.S (Divorce, Child Arrangement Order and Financial Proceedings) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting all Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute), Child Arrangement Order (C100, MIAM) and Financial Proceedings (Form E) etc

Client: V.J (Financial Proceedings, Judicial Separation) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting all Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute), Child Arrangement Order (C100, MIAM) and Financial Proceedings (Form E)

Client: N.G (also Property Client – Intervener Proceedings) – Intervener proceedings for third party interest in property for on-going financial proceedings in Brentford CC. Drafting: application, writing to other party and filing at Brentford CC etc

Client: I.S.B (Intervener Proceedings within Financial Proceedings) – Drafting: Client Care / Terms of Business, Researching, Briefing Senior, Gathering Evidence, Day to Day Communications, Drafting: Extensive Witness Statement, Preparing Bundle, Dealing with Adjournment (Consent Order etc) etc.

Client: B.M (Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: M.G (Family Client – Non Molestation Order, Divorce, Financial, Child Arrangement) – Drafting: Client Care Letters, Terms of Business, Billing, Change of Solicitor, Relevant Forms/Documents (C100, Petition, Schedule of Allegations, Witness Statements etc), Day to Day communications and numerous Conferences, Supervising Staff to progress Certain Aspects, Briefing Counsels, Managing and Progressing these Matters.

Client: T.P (Divorce, Financial Matters and Child Arrangement Matters) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms, Day to Day Communications, Relevant Forms & Documents (i.e. Petition, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc) to Progress Matters, Negotiating Financial Matters without need for Financial Proceedings, Guiding Staff to Handle Aspects, Problem Solving Mistakes by Staff, Billing,

Client: S.S (Divorce, Financial and Child Arrangement Order) ­ Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Guiding and Assisting Staff to Progress Aspects. Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute), Child Arrangement Order (C100, MIAM) and Financial Proceedings (Form E),

Client: M.S (Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting Day to Day communications (other side, client and court), Advising. Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Drafting: Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute etc).

Client:(Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting Day to Day communications (other side, client and court), Advising. Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Drafting: Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute etc).

Client: S.T (Private (Pre-Charge) Online Grooming) – Client received allegation of online grooming and threat of Police action. Advising, Day to Day communications, Research, On-Going Instructions, Advising, Instructing Telephone Expert etc

Client: I.E (Child Arrangement Order (inc Prohibited Steps Order) – Advising, Day to Day Communications, Day to Day Communications, Research, Advising, Preparing Bundles Drafting: Applications (and other normal documents in such proceedings), Witness Statements, Statements of Issue, Position Statements, Costs schedules, Sourcing, Instructing and Briefing Counsel etc

Client: A.G (Complex Pension and High Income Financial Proceedings) – Advising, Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting all Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Dealing with: complex Financial Proceedings, Sourcing, Instructing and Briefing Counsel, Researching, Advising, Assisting Counsel to Draft Preliminary Hearing Documents, Form E, Questionnaires, Replies to Questionnaire, s.25 Statements, Costs Schedules etc. MPS & Legal Costs Order Interim Proceedings (Drafting Extensive Witness Statement and Substantial Bundle), Drafting: Witness statements, Final Hearing Re-Listed on three extra occasions for further evidence and Statements (due to complex nature an international elements).

Client: J.F (Complex High Net Worth (Director of Major International Bank) Parties – Schedule 1 Proceedings, TOLATA Proceedings and Legal Costs Proceedings) – This was a complex and substantial matter. Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Drafting all Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Advising, Dealing with: complex Financial Proceedings, Sourcing, Instructing and Briefing Counsels, Researching, Advising, Assisting Counsel to Draft Preliminary Hearing Documents, Costs Schedules etc. TOLATA, Schedule 1 and Legal Costs Order Proceedings (Drafting Extensive Witness Statements and Substantial Bundles). Drafting: Complex Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Client: K.K (Child Arrangement Order Matters) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Advising, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Negotiations for CAO Matters

Client: S.K (Divorce) – Client: S.S (Divorce, Child Arrangement Order and Financial Proceedings) – Drafting: Client Care, Terms of Business, Billing (throughout), Advising, Drafting Day to Day communications (other side, client and court). Dealing with: Divorce (i.e. Ack of Service, Decree Nisi, Absolute) etc

Client: A.R (Child Arrangement Order (CAO) Matters) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Advising, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Negotiations for CAO Matters

Client: A.J (Non-Molestation Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Advising, Drafting: Negotiations for Non-Molestation Matters.

Client: A.K (Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: B.S (Enforcement Application & Possession of Property Claim) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Considering Documentation, Advising, Drafting: Negotiations, Enforcement (D11, Witness Statement, Exhibits, Bundle, Draft Order etc), Possession Claim (N215, Witness Statement, Particulars of Claim, Exhibits, bundle etc).

Client: B.S (Child Arrangement Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: C100 etc

Client: B.M (Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: B.S.S (Child Arrangement Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: C100 etc

Client: E.K.W (Divorce) – Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: H.M (Non-Molestation Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Advising, Drafting: Negotiations for Non-Molestation Matters, Consent Order Settlement (inc Police Bail Variation) etc

Client: H.S (Child Arrangement Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: C100 and Negotiations for CAO Matters.

Client: H.S (Financial Settlement) For Internal Staff: Drafting: Statement of Information for Settlement, Consent Order, Joint Statement from Parties and Day to Day Communications etc

Client: I.E (Divorce, Child Arrangement Order & Non Molestation Matters) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support etc & Child arrangement Order, Preliminary Documentation (i.e. Position Statement, Statement of Issues Scott Schedule), Witness Statements etc

Client: V.J (Judicial Separation) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi etc

Client: J.S (Divorce) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: L.S (Child Arrangement Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: C100, case Summaries, Statements of Issues, Position Statements, List of reading, Witness Statements Response to Allegations of Harm etc

Client: L.S (Divorce) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: M.S (Divorce) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client: M.G (Child Arrangement Order) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: C100, Case Summaries, Statements of Issues, Position Statements, List of reading, Witness Statements Response to Allegations of Harm, Complex s.47 Issues etc

Client: M.A.M (Vulnerable Client – Police Complaints Due to Abuse, Financial Proceedings & Divorce – Complex Matter) Drafting: Client Care, Terms, Day to Day Communications, Relevant Forms & Documents to Progress Matters, Negotiating, Progressing Criminal Complaints, Dealing with Social Services, Disputes Re: Property and Finances etc

Client: R.K (Divorce) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support etc

Client: S.G (Divorce & Financial Matters With Linked Complex Police Allegations Against Client) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Application for Service By Alternative Means (D11, Witness Statement and Draft Order), Application for Bailiff Service etc

Client: S.K (Divorce) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute etc,

Client S.S (Divorce and Finances) Drafting: Client Care & Terms of Business, Billing, Day to Day Communications & Conferences, Drafting: Petition, Statement in Support, Statement of Reconciliation, Decree Nisi, Undertakings, Form E, Questionnaires/Replies, Assisting and Guiding Staff to Progress Matters.