The Legal Services Commission has announced a series of free training sessions in business and financial management skills for legal aid providers, which will begin in the areas where best-value tendering is to be piloted.

The LSC’s ‘provider readiness’ team has commissioned accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers to create a series of free half-day classroom training modules and e-learning modules.

The seminars will cover financial skills, expanding your business, alternative business structures and the use of IT in legal practices. The first financial skills module covers understanding a firm’s cost base, calculating the cost of providing each type of legal aid service, fee-earner capacity, and preparation for tendering and bidding.

The second financial module includes how to calculate profit and ways to achieve it, developing strategies to move the business forward and increase profitability, and understanding liquidity, cashflow and working capital management.

The face-to-face seminars will begin in September 2009 in the best value tendering pilot areas of Manchester, Bristol and Taunton. The online training will be available to everyone from early September 2009.

The LSC is also offering two-hour evening seminars on the e-tendering processes in September and October.

The training follows feedback from providers which indicated that they needed help with their financial management skills. Financial management will be increasingly important due to the changing procurement methods being adopted by the LSC, and ongoing legal aid reforms.

For a programme of the training available and to register see