Group woos set managers

John Malpas reports

A group for practice managers has been established to act as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas.

The Practice Management Group already has around 20 members but it is keen to expand and will be holding an open meeting this month.

The group is chaired by Christine Kings, of Doughty Street Chambers, who is one of the longest serving practice managers in the country.

So far it has been operating on an informal basis with its members gathering at different chambers for monthly meetings. But Kings believes it will expand steadily, taking on a more formal character as more people join.

"The role is still a very new one and many of the group's members have been in their posts for less than six months," she said.

"You don't have to be called a practice manager but we are talking about people who are involved in practice management as opposed to clerking."

The group's first few meetings have included role playing sessions in which members tested their skills in dealing with the kind of problems they regularly face in chambers. There are also plans to invite speakers to give talks.

In addition, Kings suggested the group might be able to advise chambers on how to hire practice managers.

"I think most chambers are going to have to take on practice managers, but they will have to be very careful; it can cause more problems than it solves," she said.

Edith Robertson, senior clerk at Goldsmith Building, is a member of the group. She has a dual role clerking and managing her chambers and said she found the group useful because it "wasn't just a talking shop".

"People can get practical advice by sharing their experiences," she said, adding that she was very impressed by the high calibre of the group's members.

For more details about the group, contact Kings at Doughty Street chambers.