In this Q&A, our Fee’s Manager, Liam Lythgoe-Hurley, talks to us all about his financial experience within the legal field and why he chose Unit Chambers.
Q: Hi Liam! Let’s get to know you a bit better. What was your experience prior to joining the Unit Chambers family?
Before I joined Unit Chambers, I was the fee’s clerk at St John’s Buildings Barrister’s Chambers. I assessed and submitted claims for a team of over 25 family barristers. I also dealt with all billing issues. From the smallest claim to the biggest High Cost ever seen, I single handedly managed all aspects of Family Legal Aid billing for the Liverpool and Chester teams. I also assisted with the Manchester and Sheffield teams at times and took on Civil billing when required. My next role was with BDH Solicitors as fee’s consultant. I assessed and submitted all Legal Aid claims for one of the biggest firms in the region.
Prior to employment in the private sector, I worked in various Civil Service departments before joining the Legal Aid Agency (previously the Legal Services Commission). My first role at the LAA was with the National Courts Team which meant I assessed complex and high risk applications for Criminal Legal Aid. I granted or refused Legal Aid and issues notices/chased contribution payments. My next role at the LAA was with High Cost Crime. This role involved assessing and auditing solicitor and barrister bills for complex and high cost criminal cases.
Having dealt with Legal Aid from the point of view of the barrister, solicitor and the Legal Aid Agency, I have developed a great deal of experience and understand the intricacies of the system.
Q: What inspired you to join Unit Chambers?
I was inspired to join Unit Chambers by the exciting prospects it brings. For a brand new set to compete with the large established Chambers in the area takes a lot of bravery and confidence. This in turn inspires confidence in others to take the leap. Through past experience, I understand how difficult it is to overcome the politics and stuffy attitudes within the establishment. Archaic attitudes run through day to day life in most Chambers and it is refreshing to be a part of something which looks to the future and not the past. I feel I have a lot to offer and can develop myself freely whereas in the past progression was not possible within the limited confines of a ‘traditional’ setup. I admire Lisa and Roger for taking the plunge and turning the industry on its head.
Q: What does your role as Fee’s Manager at Unit Chambers consist of?
My role as Fee’s Manager means I have day to day responsibility for managing all aspects of fees within Unit Chambers. I ensure everything is billed and paid on time and there is a steady cashflow to Chambers. I liaise closely with the members to ensure they provide me with what I need as I need it. I keep them abreast of payments and any issues we need to address. Keeping on top of this ensures a smooth and efficient system. Developing relationships with not only the members, but solicitors and external agencies, ensures continued instruction and an increased reputation for Unit Chambers.
Q: Why should people join Unit Chambers?
I would encourage people to look at joining Unit Chambers if they are interested in joining a modern, expanding, efficient and happy team. If you want to join the 21st century and abandon the stuffy ideals of traditional sets, join Unit Chambers. This is an exciting time for the sector and Unit is at the forefront. I have no doubt of the continued success of Unit and I intend to be a part of it. The relaxed but determined atmosphere at Unit Chambers continues to impress me. The support for members is immeasurable, especially given the times we live in right now.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy my role whole-heartedly! I enjoy turning someone’s billing around ensuring they receive payment for the work they do on time and in full. I enjoy putting systems in place to allow for efficient and timely working and offering my full support for all aspects of billing.
A big thanks to Liam for taking part in our first Q & A, keep your eyes peeled as there will be many more interviews coming in the future!