Self Sufficient Fee Earner

How to support a self-sufficient boss or fee earner

Published on 22nd September 2015

A self-sufficient boss or fee earner can be a blessing in disguise. They give minimal dictations, can manage their own diary efficiently and are usually quick to respond to emails. 

But how can you assist such a boss if they just get on with it? 

Whether you are a legal secretary, executive assistant or PA, it is highly likely that your role extends further than just dictations and diary management. 

But still, how can you add value to your employer if it seems like, for most things, they don’t really need your help?

Become the ‘go to’ person for clients

If your fee earner is quick to reply directly to a client by email then use some of your time to get to know the client’s PA. If you know everything about your fee earner then assume it is vice versa with your client and their PA!

Research, research, research!

This is an area where you can really help your boss. If your fee earner is trying to convert a new prospect for example, then carrying out some research in advance could really give them an advantage. 

Read literature that is pertinent to the client, whether it be City AM, Financial Times or industry magazines. Set up a google alert for the prospect’s name and keep your fee earner abreast of anything that’s in the media. 

Before a client meeting, search the internet and social networking sites for any information about the person attending. Are they a rugby fan? Then the World Cup is a hot topic your fee earner can talk to them about! 

If you are branching into a new sector, keep your boss up-to-date with what other firms are doing. Also, do not forget the importance of exposure within a firm; organisations are always looking at ways of cross-selling to clients so encourage your boss’ exposure by keeping other PA’s across the business in the know of his/her latest work.

Money, Money, Money

Are you up to date with your boss’ billing? Staying on top of client billing increases your exposure to external matters exponentially and of course gives you another reason to speak to the client! 

Add value to your role by being one step ahead and preparing invoices as early as possible. Inaccuracies and delays will only cost time and a will create a poor impression. Never forget the “client experience”.

Diary Management

Just because your fee earner can and does make their own appointments it doesn’t mean you cannot be pro-active and take control of their diary! 

Keep an eye on quarterly client meetings – if a quarterly meeting has to be rearranged then take control of planning future meetings. Do you have a boss who doesn’t take into account travel time? Then keep an eye on the diary changes and build time in!

Build rapport with clients

On-site meetings are a great way to gain face time with a fee earner’s client, so make yourself available to say hello and you’ll be amazed at how a little time invested can make a world of difference to how your client communicates! 

The one last thing that is possibly the easiest to do but the simplest to forget . . . ask/remind your boss what you can do to help them!