Sir Brian Leveson’s ‘Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings’ identified a number of changes which could improve the efficiency of justice. Some of his recommendations have been combined together to create a new initiative known as ‘Better Case Mangement’ (BCM). The national rollout for BCM is 5th January 2016 with the exception of the early adopter courts where the initiative is already in operation.
Olliers Solicitors have considered the practicalities of BCM and have identified five simple steps which have now been implemented by the firm.
Olliers Solicitors – Criminal Defence Lawyers
Obtain the URN and client e mail address at the police station
All clients have e-mail addresses. The URN will follow the case throughout, use it from the outset and quote it on all electronic communication with the Crown.
Creation of two new e mail addresses
We have created email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Each e-mail is directed to two or three members of staff at most. The addresses can be utilised externally by the CPS and internally as an efficient means of redirecting e-mails.
Crown Court preparation
This should start at the earliest possible opportunity. Don’t wait until the Crown Court. Cases that may go to the Crown Court should be identified at the Police Station or at the first hearing in the Magistrates Court.
Make the most of all client contact
Don’t leave it to your Crown Court litigator. Police Station representatives and Magistrates Court lawyers need to assist their litigators. The Plea and Trial Preparation hearing (PTPH) is only four weeks after the first appearance in the Magistrates Court and the client may never come into the office.
Early allocation of Crown Court advocate
The Crown Court advocate needs to be instructed within seven days of the case being allocated. Early instruction cuts out duplication and will increase efficiency under the Digital Case System.
Specialist Criminal Defence Solicitor
Written by Matthew Claughton. Matthew specialises in the defence of serious criminal allegations. He is the Manchester Law Society Partner of the Year 2015 and the Modern Law Awards Lawyer of the Year 2015. The 2015 edition of the Legal 500 ranks him as a Leading Individual for both Crime and Fraud. He is currently a member of the Greater Manchester Local Implementation Team (LIT) which is working hard to ensure a smooth transition to Better Case Management (BCM) and Digital Case Systems (DCS) in the New Year.