Terms and conditions
All instructions administered via the Clerksroom Direct portal will be subject to the following terms and conditions as standard, save where any variation to the terms and conditions has been expressly agreed in writing with the barrister. The terms and conditions applicable to any specific set of instructions will be detailed in a client care letter sent to the client for approval before payment for any instructions is accepted.
Standard Terms and Conditions:
It is important that you understand your barrister’s full terms as they will form a contract between you and your barrister. It is also important that you understand that your barrister cannot do legal aid work unless they have been instructed by a solicitor. If you wish to discuss legal aid further before making a decision about whether to instruct your barrister, please let them know. Your barrister would strongly recommend that you read theBar Standards Board's Guidance for Lay Clients at the following link: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1666529/2._the_public_access_scheme_guidance_for_lay_clients.pdf
If you are instructing your barrister to represent you at a remote court hearing, you will need to send the court your barrister’s contact details for the hearing (email address and phone number). Please contact your barrister to confirm the contact details to use if you are unsure.
If subsequent work is needed on your matter once the initial instructions have been fulfilled, there will be another letter of agreement between you and your barrister. Because your barrister undertakes all of their work personally and cannot predict what other professional responsibilities they may have in the future, they cannot confirm that they will be able to accept instructions for all subsequent work that may be required by your case.
Any fees paid to your barrister and Clerksroom Direct will be fixed and non-refundable fee and will apply specifically to the scope of work detailed in the client care letter. Ifyour instructions relate to a hearing, please note that if the hearing takes less time than expected or is vacated or adjourned after your barrister has been instructed, no re-fund of the fee will be due or offered, due to your barrister having committedthe preparation time and hearing commitment in their schedule.
If your hearing is vacated or adjourned by the court at short notice for any reason, you may be able to make a complaint to the HMCTS and seek compensation wasted legal fees. The details of the HMCTS complaints procedure can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-courts-and-tribunals- service/about/complaints-procedure
If your instructions relate to a hearing, if the hearing extends beyond the dates specified in yourinstructions and your barrister’s attendance is required on any additional days, a further fee will become payable. As the instructing client, it is your responsibility to ensure that any hearing dates provided at the time of instruction are correct. Failure to do so may result in your barrister not being able to attend court.
It is likely that your barrister will have been provided with some initial paperwork by Clerksroom Direct in order to provide a quote for your instructions. As the instructing client, it is your responsibility to ensure that you provide your barrister with copies of all of the paperwork you need them to review in order to fulfil your instructions.
Fees are calculated and agreed based on the documentation provided to Clerksroom Direct at the point of formal instruction. If you provide further documentation relating to your instructions after the point of instruction, your barrister reserves the right to review the fee and, if appropriate, request an additional fee to be paid to cover the time spentconsidering any additional documentation provide. If you refuse to meet any additional payment requested in suchcircumstances, the barrister reserves the right to decline your instructions.
If you are dissatisfied:
If, for any reason, you are unhappy with the service you receive, your barrister’s Chambers has a complaints process that you may follow. Further details about what to do if you have a complaint are set out in the terms below. Your barrister is required to comply with the Bar Standards Board Handbook which can be found at the following address:
Please read this letter and your barrister’s full terms carefully. If you are happy for your barrister to accept your instructions and you agree with their terms, advance payment of the associated fee will be required. Upon receipt of payment, Clerksroom Direct will send you a confirmation email. The terms of the client care letter attached to that email will show as agreed by you. If you do not understand any of your barrister’s terms, you should ask them to clarify or explain them.
Right to cancel
You have the right to cancel any instructions within 14 days without giving any reason, provided work has not commenced on the instructions by the time you notify the barrister of your intention to cancel.
The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day on which the contract is entered into.
To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform your barrister of your decision to cancel the contract by a clear statement (e.g., an e-mail sent to your barrister on the email address provided in the confirmation email).
To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.
Please note: This cancellation clause only applies if you are a consumer as per the definition of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Effects of cancellation
If you cancel instructions within 14 days of payment being made, the fee paid will be reimbursed less a cancellation charge.
Your barrister will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which they were informed about your decision to cancel the instructions.
Your barrister will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement (save for the aforementioned cancellation charge).
If the barrister has undertaken work on your instructions by the time you notify them that you wish to cancel, the level of any reimbursement due to you (if any) will be entirely at your barrister’s discretion. For the avoidance of doubt, reviewing any documents provided in relation to the matter and/or contacting you to discuss the case constitutes undertaking work.
Example barrister’s terms:
1. I am a self-employed barrister, I am the only person you are instructing, and I will personally do all the work needed under this arrangement. If I wish to use any other lawyer to assist me in carrying out yourwork I will obtain your prior written consent.
2. I have carefully considered the instructions and confirm that I have sufficient experience and competence to undertake the work.
3. If for any reason I cannot carry out all the work you are instructing me to do, or if I want to suggest that another barrister (instead of me, or as well as me) carries out the work for you, your barrister’s clerk or I may propose this and explainwhy I have made this suggestion. However, another barrister will not carry out work for you unless and until you have agreed to this.
4. There may be times when my professional commitments clash. If I identify a possible clash of commitments and I am unable to work on your case I will do my best to warn you as soon as possible, ask you how you would prefer to continue, and suggest the name of another barrister (of a suitable level of seniority and expertise), who is willing to accept your case on the same terms if possible. You would then need to decide whether you want to instruct that barrister.
5. The work you are instructing me to carry out is set out in your barrister’s cover letter.
6. If subsequent work is needed on this matter, and I am available to do the extra work, there will need to be another letter of agreement between us.
The range of work I can carry out
7. Barristers advise on the law, draft documents for clients to use and appear on behalf of their client before courts or other organisations. Barristers do not handle client money or undertake the organisation or management of a case proceeding through a court.
8. Here are some examples of work I can carry out.
I can draft letters on your behalf.
I can appear on your behalf to argue your case at court.
If a witness statement is needed from you, I can draft it from what you tell me. I may also be able to help finalise a witness statement from another person based on the information that person has provided.
I can advise you on the need for expert evidence and on the choice of a suitable expert. However, I may not instruct an expert on your behalf. Expert evidence is evidence about a professional, scientific, or technical matter provided by an individual with expertise in that area.
I can draft formal court documents for you. However, I cannot serve court documents on other parties or file them at court on your behalf. You will need to take responsibility for serving formal court documents on other parties and filing them at court. Serving court documents is the process by which papers relating to a case are put before the court or tribunal and the parties, e.g. individuals or organisations, involved in the case. This usually signals the start of formal proceedings.
I cannot go on the court record or provide my address to the court as the ‘address for service’ of documents (that is, the address which you are required to provide to the court for receipt by you of formal court documents sent by the court or other parties). You will be listed on the court record as a litigant in person. You will need to provide your own address as the ‘address for service’ of documents sent to you by the court and other parties.
9. As you are instructing me without a solicitor, you must be sure that:
You can do whatever is necessary for those matters that I cannot deal with; or
You have arranged with another person of suitable competence and experience to provide these services for you.
Circumstances when I may not be able to act for you
10. As a barrister, I must follow the Bar Code of Conduct. That code of conduct requires me to consider whether a solicitor needs to be instructed in your own interests. If there comes a point at which I consider you need a solicitor I will no longer be able to act for you without the involvement of a solicitor. If I foresee that situation arising, I will give you as much notice as possible.
11. It is possible that you may be eligible for public funding or “legal aid” as it is usually referred to. However, as a barrister I cannot do legal aid work unless I have been instructed by a solicitor. If you want to talk to someone in more detail about getting legal aid, you should contact a solicitor who does legal aid work. They will be able to advise you about legal aid arrangements relating to civil cases e.g. where you are in dispute with another individual or organisation and criminal cases e.g. where a crime may have been committed.
12. You can find out more information on the www.gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/community-legal-advice
13. If you wish to be assessed for legal aid for a civil case, you can contact Community Legal Advice. This is a service which provides advice about family, debt, benefits, housing, education or employment problems. You can call them on: 0845 345 4345. You can also use their online legal aid calculator. This is a tool which allows you to check whether you can get legal aid for your case, if it is a civil case. This tool allows you to get online advice and can help you find a legal adviser near you:
14. If you do not qualify for legal aid, you might like to consider whether you have any insurance policies that might cover your legal fees, or if the fees may be paid by someone else, for example a trade union.
15. I can advise and represent you if:
You make an informed decision not to seek public funding;
You make a public funding application, e.g. you have applied to get legal aid to help fund your case, that is rejected;
You do not wish to take up an offer of public funding (perhaps because you consider that the level of contribution you will be required to make is too much).
16. In signing these terms, you confirm that you have been informed that you may be eligible for public funding and where you can find further information. You are choosing to instruct me without the benefit of any public funding that may be available to you.
Your barrister’s availability
17. As I carry out all my professional work personally, there may be times when I am not available to you. For example, if I am in court for a day or for several days in a row. I may be totally unavailable to all other clients during that time. If you are not able to contact me directly you can leave a message with my clerk and I will respond as soon as possible. Unless expressly agreed between us at the point of instruction, I will not read any emails or instructions or hold any conferences outside normal working hours (8.30am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday).
18. The fees for any work you instruct me to undertake will be set out in the client care letter.
19. Under these terms, you are responsible for paying the fees set out in your barrister’s cover letter in advance of any workbeing undertaken by me.
20. If you owe me any fees or disbursements and do not pay them for more than 30 days after I give you a fee note, interest will be payable at 2% above the Barclays Bank base rate from 28 days of the date of the fee note.
Waiver of right to cancel
21. Due to the nature of the work required you are being asked by this agreement to waive the right to cancel this agreement within 14 days. This is because either I will be carrying out the work prior to the expiry of 14 days or because I have booked your case in my diary thereby making myself unavailable for other work.
22. You and I agree that:
1. I am entitled to keep copies of any documents you give me for my own professional records; and
2. I will return all your original documents to you when I have carried out the work you have instructed me to do.
23. I would prefer that you give me copies of documents rather than originals. However, if this is not possible, I may make a reasonable charge to you for producing photocopies. I may also make a reasonable charge to you for the cost of returning documents to you or the cost of any other disbursement requested by you.
24. The information which you give me will be received in professional confidence. This means that I must maintain the confidentiality of any information you have shared with me and can only tell others about it if you give your consent for me to do so. The only exception is that statutory and other legal requirements may mean that I have to disclose (i.e. reveal) your information to governmental or other regulatory authorities, e.g. organisations, whose rules I must meet, without your consent and without telling you that I have made the disclosure. Statutory and legal requirements are rules or regulations that an individual must, by law, follow.
25. This contract will be governed by English law, and any dispute will be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts. Jurisdiction means the power and authority of a court or tribunal to determine the outcome of a case and impose sanctions or penalties on those involved.
26. I hope you will be happy with the professional services I provide. However, if you are not satisfied, you should first refer the matter either to me or to my Chambers in line with my or my Chambers’ complaints procedure. A copy of my Chambers’ complaints procedure can be found on my or my Chambers’ website. If you require a printed copy, I would be happy to provide it.
27. If you are not happy with your barrister’s reply or my Chambers’ reply, then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. TheLegal Ombudsman is a free, impartial and independent service set up by the Government which deals with complaints about the service you have received.
28. You must complain to the Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from myself or from my Chambers (provided the response specifically notifies you of your right to complain to the Ombudsman and of the six-month time limit). A complaint to the Ombudsman must also be made not more than six years after the act or omission complained about or not more than three years from the date when you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint.
29. For further details about how to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, including guidance about the new scheme rules that came into effect on 1 February 2013, please contact the Legal Ombudsman directly at:
PO Box 6806
A guide to the new scheme rules that came into effect on 1 February 2013 can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website at:
Frequently Asked Questions concerning the new Legal Ombudsman can be found on the BSB’s website: