WHAT IS CRIME DIARY?
Crime Diary is a number of related tools that facilitate new ways of collaborating between solicitors' firms, police station representatives and/or court advocates – both in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts.
Crime Diary enables firms of solicitors to have access to information regarding the availability of police station representatives, freelance advocates or advocates from other firms of solicitors. It also effectively enables them to "advertise" their availability to others in the Crime Diary community.
The purpose of Crime Diary is to help solicitors' firms:-
- get access to police station representatives, without having to pay the mark up associated with traditional agencies;
- work more efficiently by getting quick access to solicitor agents in unfamiliar courts without the pain of making numerous telephone calls;
- generate revenue by generating agency work in Magistrates' & Crown Courts where your advocates are already in attendance; and
- enter agreements with independent Higher Court Advocates - which provide that you might charge for clerking services provided to those advocates in the preparation, listing, billing, costs appeals and payment stages of a case
Tools for Solicitors' Firms
Crime Diary can provide one or more of the following tools and services for solicitors' firms.
- Online Diary – Crime Diary can provide a completely free, online, centralised diary system for firms. The diary has been built for all the needs of a criminal defence firm – capable of separately entering duty rotas and your "on call" rota, as well as standard appointment types for police station and court attendances. The diary can be accessed anywhere, anytime by any designated member of staff.
- Online Map – the Crime Diary map is designed to provide "at a glance" confirmation of whether or not any other individual or firm affiliated to Crime Diary is available to attend at any police station or court on your behalf
- Register of Members – contains the profiles of all freelance members of the Crime Diary community, so that you can check the credentials of those being instructed
Crime Diary allows firms to participate on a stand alone basis – but can also assist firms which want to form alliances with other firms to provide coverage in geographical areas in which one or other firm may have a greater presence than the other.
Tools for Police Station Representatives
On signing up to Crime Diary, Police Station representatives can;
- Gain access to the online diary system to directly advertise details of availability in terms of date, time and location for police stations you are able to cover, which will be available to solicitors' firms looking for assistance
- Sign up and add profile details to the website to be viewed by solicitors' firms who may be seeking police station representatives from time to time;
Police Station representatives can benefit from this scheme without any charge payable to either Crime Diary or to an instructing firm. The representative is paid the rate for attendance at the police station that the instructing solicitor agrees to pay. All contractual arrangements, invoicing and payment are directly between the representative and the firm.
Tools for Advocates
On signing up to Crime Diary, Advocates can;
- Enter details of existing hearings on the basis of date, time and location with a view to attracting additional work in the same court on the same day
- Provide details of availability for work within a defined geographical area or specific court to solicitors' firms looking for advocacy services on commercial terms
- Create an online profile to be viewed by solicitors' firms to are seeking to develop relationships with freelance advocates
All Magistrates' or Crown Court advocates must be capable of accepting instructions directly from an instructing solicitor at rates to be agreed between the solicitors' firm and the advocate. The advocate should expect that all administrative services in connection with a case that an advocate might reasonably be expected to be provided in the traditional manner by "Chambers"
, will be provided by the instructing solicitors.