Joanna Toch, a barrister at Church Court Chambers in London, has obtained financing for a new version of the online service FLC (Family Law Café). FLC was originally a service in which barristers triaged a client’s requirements and connected them with experts; however, the service has developed into an ‘experts’ service and now involves both solicitors and barristers.
FLC users are initially contacted by a ‘host’ for a free initial consultation, then directed to an ‘expeditor’ – an experienced family law barrister or solicitor – who maps out the best way to take the case forward. This includes suggestions as to which experts the client need – including financial advisers, mediators and therapists – along with timelines, costs and access to a legal costs plan. Where clients have a budget, the expeditor helps them focus the money to the best effect. If the expeditor says the user needs a solicitor and/or a barrister, they provide a shortlist of appropriate lawyers. When the user decides to go ahead, they agree how much ongoing support they need from the expeditor, for an agreed fee.
The case is then managed online, the expeditor mentors the user and a ‘server’ employed by FLC deals with day-to-day matters to make sure everything goes to plan. As well as receiving a fee from the user, FLC also receives a percentage of the bill of any recommended lawyer. FLC is developing regional referral networks – you may want to get in touch with them!
To find out more and for the full Legal Futures article on the project, click here.