As you know the next QPM (and Christmas drinks) is being held in Cardiff on Friday 6th December. We are delighted to let you know that Natalie Murray, Liz Saxby and Sharon McHugh have all asked for slots on the agenda to share their expertise and insights. We need to know whether each of you will be attending the meeting as it will affect both venue choice and catering arrangements. Laura will send through a diary invite to you all, please can we ask that you respond quickly and if you confirm attendance protect the date so our planning can be appropriate. In the meantime, if you have any questions or specific items you would like to see covered or content you would personally like to deliver please drop Laura a line.


As you are all aware, Riliance (now called Access) and Carbon have had a great relationship from day one and both companies have continued to grow and find their own paths. As you know, we worked with the team at Access to bring Lydia to us in May this year and shared the news of her arrival. We have been working together on how to operationalise Carbon’s business quality requirements efficiently on what was a new departure for both businesses. Lydia came to work on the idea that we could give Business Quality, provided by Access, a real human face by implanting Lydia into the Hub on a permanent basis. Well… ...It is clear now that Lydia has been in post for several months that Carbon’s need is a full time need. Discussions have taken place between Access, Carbon and Lydia about the best route forward that suits both businesses and most importantly, Lydia. We have concluded that it makes sense for Lydia to become a Carbon employee and for Access to continue to provide other ongoing services to Carbon. We have been very impressed with how Lydia has been able to support operations within the Hub and become a member of the team even though she was technically not our employee. I know we have welcomed Lydia already but feel free to whoop and holler to welcome her as our newest Hubber.


It is with a heavy, but proud heart that we share the news that Miles is moving onto pastures new. Miles has been a fabulous Hub team member for two and a half years and has done excellent work in supporting all aspects of the design of our web, digital and social media activity. We are going to miss him greatly but wish him all the best in his new role at the WJEC. Miles’s last day in the office will be 25th October as he has a planned holiday in the US to take before moving to his new position. So, what next for the Brand and Comms team? Miles has prepared all of the social media content for Carbon through to Christmas already and has left detailed manuals on all of his areas of activity. On that basis, Judith and Michael are considering the right blend of skills for the development of the team from here for the new year. We want to be sure that we seek the right skills to build from the solid foundations and processes already created. If you have any questions about this, please give Michael a call.


Building your practice requires data to help you to make good business decisions. That’s why we continue to develop the reporting tools available to Partners. Working out who your best clients are in terms of billing and payment is a key part of understanding your practice. This month’s enhancement can be found as usual within the Carbon Platform Teams area and it’s tab is labelled “CLIENT VALUE”. This new report allows you to go beyond the referrals data already available to you and assess the total value of your clients for both invoicing and cash collection. It reflects the gross fee income excluding VAT that your clients represent and so includes the work you do for your clients and the work done by Partners also working in other areas of specialism for your client split by invoicing and cash collection by months from 1 April 2019 onwards. The data that sits behind the numbers is for those clients where you are the designated “Client Owner” within Actionstep. You will also find a Top Clients tab at the bottom of the report which lets you drill down further and view the total invoiced and cash collected for each of your clients. There are some intuitive filters that guide you to get the focus you need. We hope you find this a useful tool for assessing the value of your client base alongside the referrals reports.


We are nearing the completion of Phase 1 of improved Client Due Diligence (CDD) and matter opening process and expect to release this in November. The road testing of the new process will be rolled out to a number of Partners (from different work-types) shortly. Lydia will then provide all Partners and Partners staff with training on CDD which is mandatory. Please click here to confirm your attendance at one of the sessions. The webinars will be recorded, so if you are unable to make a session, it will be viewable through the Carbon Platform Team on Teams. Nothing beats the live experience however, so book early to avoid disappointment! Phase 2 will follow immediately after the implementation and embedding of the first phase and (many of you will be pleased to hear) will include the review of the letters of engagement and terms of business. We have however, made a small number of immediate improvements to the existing LOE template and the Terms of Business which you may notice when engaging with your clients – so please don’t assume that these changes constitute the full review of the templates as we have more work to do.


As we inch ever closer to the end of the month and the deadline for renewing practicing certificates, for those of you that have yet to provide your confirmation of your learning and development throughout the last year, can you please submit without fail an email to Rachel by Friday 25th October 2019. The following required statement has been added to the e-mail. “I have reflected on my Practice and addressed any identified learning and development needs." Please ensure your consideration of your development needs is recorded in your continuing competency records (you can do this via the Training and Development tab on the Platform to assist in this process). Whilst Rachel has been reminding you of this during your monthly calls, it is your responsibility to ensure we have your written confirmation in order to renew your certificate. So, if you want to continue to practice next year…


It has been suggested by several Partners that the current invoice request process would be improved by the Finance team emailing a copy of the invoice to the instructing Partner, rather than alerting that the invoice is now available on the matter in Actionstep. In order to do this, we would send the invoice from within the invoicing screen in the matter, which would then show the invoice as being sent in that screen. Before we implement this change, if there are any Partners who feel that this would create other issues for them can you please contact the Finance team and flag any concerns that you may have. If this change remains supported and there are no major reasons to not implement the change, we will look to implement this for all new invoice requests submitted from the beginning of the week commencing the 28th October. For clarification, any invoice requests submitted prior to that date will be handled as per the existing process.


Thanks to our newest Partner, Faris Dean, we are now able to use his membership of The Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living-Mayfair to make use of the facilities they offer. This means we will have free access to the meeting facilities in the Atrium and discounts on room booking at Jumeirah Living, in Mayfair. You can learn more here and Marc will be happy to help with any further questions that you may have. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Faris.