Standard Terms and Conditions for Solicitors
The basis on which we accept instructions
You are instructing our Barristers on behalf of your lay client. Our Barristers accept your instructions on the basis that the Barrister's professional obligations are owed to your lay client. Nevertheless, by instructing our barristers you are acknowledging that your firm is entering into a binding and enforceable contract to pay our Barristers' Fees. The barrister accepts your instructions on the basis that your firm is at all times responsible for settling the Barristers' Fees, regardless of whether or not your lay client has put you in funds.
The Barrister's Fees are the sums agreed between the Barrister (or the practice manager on the Barrister's behalf) and your firm, whether prospectively or retrospectively in relation to the services provided by the Barrister in connection with the case in accordance with your instructions (“the Services”). Those sums may be based on an hourly rate, capped fee, fixed fee or other arrangement, or a combination of these.
Unless otherwise agreed, if the Barrister's Fees are based on an hourly rate, the time charged will, unless otherwise agreed, as part of the Services also include, as an example only, travel time and the time spent in correspondence or other communication concerning your instructions.
Unless otherwise agreed, the Barrister's Fees will also include all reasonable disbursements (copying court bundles etc) and any travel/accommodation expenses incurred in relation to your instructions.
If you have already requested a fee quote, we will contact you once the Barrister has had the opportunity to look at the papers and has given us an estimate of the time he/she will spend. Sometimes the scope of work is not evident at the start and sometimes there is unforeseen additional work or new instructions require additional work. In such circumstances, we will contact you in advance and seek to agree any additional fees.
In the absence of any agreement, the Barrister's Fees will be a reasonable fee for the services and work done in all the circumstances.
Unless stated otherwise, the Barrister's Fees are based upon a combination of factors: the time required to complete the matter, complexity, urgency and "value".
Where the Barrister is accepting instructions for a hearing of any kind, it will be made clear to you if that fee also includes fees for preparing any Case Summaries, Chronologies Skeleton Arguments, Closing Written Submissions and Minutes of Order, or dealing with any reserved judgment, as required. In the absence of any such agreement any such items will be billed as a separate item at the Barrister’s usual hourly rate.
Our Barristers' fee rates will be reviewed annually and you will be informed in advance of any changes where a matter is ongoing. Unless otherwise stated, our Barristers' Fees are exclusive of VAT.
A fee note will be sent to you after each piece of work unless otherwise agreed with you. The Barristers' Fees are required to be settled within 30 days of date of delivery of the fee note. If you have any queries regarding a fee note, please inform us as soon as possible.
Please note that the Barrister reserves the right to charge interest on unpaid fee notes, at 2% above the Bank of England base rate, from time to time, from 30 days after the date of delivery of the fee note until payment. In the event of default in payment the Barrister expressly reserves the right to seek recovery of any outstanding Fees, together with the costs of recovery, by any judicial process, including the issue of proceedings at Court.
Change of Barrister
In accordance with the Bar Code of Conduct, if the Barrister is obliged to return any brief or instructions in this case to another Barrister, or is otherwise unable to continue acting for your client, then we will make every effort to ensure that an appropriate barrister agrees to act on the same terms. You will be notified of the position and your agreement to any alternative Barrister requested as soon as possible. If we are unable to secure an appropriate replacement on the same terms, the Barrister will not be responsible for any additional fees incurred by your firm instructing another Barrister.
Termination of instructions
You may terminate your instructions to the Barrister at any time by written notice to the Barrister's Practice Manager, in which case we will send you a final fee note for any unbilled work accrued at that time. All outstanding Fees are to be paid within 30 days of delivery of the final fee note.
The Barrister is not liable for any:
- loss or damage, however suffered, by any person other than the Lay Client;
- loss or damage, however suffered, which is caused by inaccurate, incomplete or late Instructions;
- indirect or consequential loss however suffered.
The Barrister is not under a duty to bring to the attention of the Solicitor any changes in the law or its interpretation which occur and is not liable for any consequences for the Lay Client of such changes in the law or its interpretation occurring subsequently to the date on which the Services are provided.
We value your instructions and hope that you will be happy with the service provided. If for any reason you are unhappy with the service provided, please do let me know as soon as possible, either by telephone or in writing, and we will try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. We attach a copy of our complaints procedure which we would ask you to pass to your client. If there is any difficulty in so doing, please will you provide us with the client’s contact details to enable us to write to them directly. Further details can be found on our Complaints Procedure page.
Your continued instructions on this matter will amount to acceptance of these terms and conditions of business without express confirmation.