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Lawyers waste 860,000 billable hours a year?

According to online CPD training provider CPD Channel solicitors and barristers in the UK are wasting as much as 860,000 hours and losing a potential £145m per year in fees by not doing their mandatory continuous professional development (CPD) courses online. The
calculation is based on practitioners attending an average of 3 blocks
of CPD courses per year. The amount of time wasted on travel is from
the Department of Transport's statistics on the average trip time for a
business meeting in 2005. Average hourly charge-out fees for solicitors
and barristers is taken from the 2005 Legal 500 hourly rate survey for
2005 and the HMCS guideline figures for the summary assessment of costs.

Stephen Caine, CEO and founder of CPD Channel says lawyers
taking advantage of online CPD course providers are losing a
shocking number of billable hours just by travelling to and from
courses, waiting around, and taking breaks during courses.
“Legal practitioners are beginning to realise the full extent that attending face-to-face CPD courses has on their time and their profitability. E-learning, podcasting and virtual meetings have really begun to take off in other sectors and the legal industry is looking for the same kind of convenience. The more control a solicitor has over their timetable the better.”

According to CPD Channel, online courses currently account for only about 5% of all CPD training courses taken by the legal profession. However solicitors only need to complete 4 of 16 mandatory hours of CPD per year in face-to-face training courses, and barristers are allowed to complete all of their required 12 hours per year by e-learning.

Caine adds: “Aside from saving time that could be better spent in client care or marketing, there is an undisputed convenience factor about e-learning. Solicitors and barristers can complete their required hours whenever and wherever it suits them – even after hours if they wish. When important matters come up unexpectedly that need to be attended to, practitioners won‚t have to waste time cancelling and re-booking courses or lose their course deposit. Online courses are also usually much cheaper than face to face courses and savings can be made on travel costs, which can sometimes be a hefty amount.”

The deadline for barristers to complete their mandatory annual CPD hours is on December 31 and the deadline for solicitors is on October 31.