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Bar Squared

Tel: +44 (0) 116 272 5000

6 JUL 2009

Bar Select unveils its online presence

Bar Select, a new online service, has been launched today that allows potential clients to search for barristers who are available for new work.

Peter Rouse, who was until the end of June Chief Executive at chambers 7 Bedford Row, has joined forces with Bar Squared, providers of the market leading diary and chambers management solution 'LEX', to create this new business channel for sourcing the services of barristers. Though a relatively recent entrant to the market in 2007, LEX has already signed up 57 chambers which together comprise some 4000 users.

Peter Rouse said:

"Bar Select is an innovative service made possible by the LEX software, the Internet and the greater confidence that exists today in carrying out relatively sophisticated transactions online such as purchasing car insurance, booking travel and online banking."

Helen Ford, a Director and founder of Bar Squared Limited, said:

"We are delighted to be part of this initiative which we believe will offer tremendous opportunities to barristers and to those who can benefit from barristers' expertise and their highly
competitive fee rates".

Solicitors and other lawyers, corporate counsel and members of the public will be able to search for barristers by criteria such as legal practice area, seniority and geography as they might in any normal directory. Uniquely however, users will be able to specify when they need work done and be given search results with only those barristers who are actually available to do the work when required. This is made possible because Bar Select searches a dedicated LEX diary for each barrister (managed by or for each barrister) to determine whether they are available for new work. Once a barrister has been selected and agreed to take on work, a booking is made in the LEX diary and the client notified of all future diary entries for their case as it progresses.

Peter Rouse said:

"The Bar is highly fragmented with over 13,000 barristers spread across over 330 chambers which may often mean calling around many chambers before you can find someone suitable who is available to take on your work. This is not efficient. At the same time, barristers inevitably have gaps they are keen to fill in their diaries that arise for many reasons including commonly where a case due to go to trial settles."

The launch today is to announce the full service which will be available from 1 October 2009. In the coming months Bar Select will be recruiting its founder members, offering the first 300 barristers who sign up early a discounted subscription and enhanced listings.

Peter Rouse said:

"We will be taking out our message to solicitors and others and forming alliances to promote the use of Bar Select as a key resource for selecting and instructing barristers. Bar Select will be working hard to build market share for the Bar and so serving the interests of its members and purchasers of legal services looking for quality and value for money."

Craig Holt, Barrister and Chief Executive of QualitySolicitors.com, an alliance of high quality solicitor firms, said:

"The legal market is changing beyond recognition and in this new era the need to offer convenient and easy access to the services you offer as a lawyer will be paramount - for the bar as well as solicitors. Bar Select strikes me as an innovative way to increase my accessibility to clients who can check my availability and book me, all through an easy to use online interface. I will be joining."

Paul Gilbert, Chief Executive of LBC Wise Counsel, former in-house counsel and now advisor to corporate legal departments and law firms said:

"At this time of significant change for the legal profession, in part a result of the economy, in part accelerated adoption of new technologies, in part regulatory change and in part a more sophisticated purchasing environment, it is an imperative for lawyers to step forward and demonstrate that they too can be innovative and entrepreneurial at this time. Bar Select is a fantastic concept that meets a significant need ; by shaping the way legal advice is purchased and how barristers are engaged this will not only make the market more accessible, I suspect it will broaden and deepen that market as well."

John Flood, Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Westminster, author of Straight There No Detours: Direct Access to Barristers said:

"Direct access to barristers is an idea whose time has come. It cuts confusion, it can provide quick answers, and is often much cheaper than using solicitors. Direct access has the prime advantage of simplicity and affordability."

Contacts:

Peter Rouse,

Director, Bar Select Limited:
email: peter.rouse@barselect.co.uk;
mobile: 07737 128174; office: 020 3239 0886

Helen Ford,

Director, Bar Squared Limited:
email: helen.ford@barsquared.com;
mobile: 0773 865 0802; office: 0116 272 5000

For all the latest information on Bar Squared and LEX Chambers Management subscribe to our rss feed or call our sales team on 0116 272 5000 for further information.

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Select, Peter, Rouse, LEX, Barristers, Management, Software, Diary, Management, Bar, Squared, Barsquared, Meridian, Law, InQuisita, Law, IQL, IQ, IRIS, Connected, 7, bedford, row