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A leading set specialising in commercial, construction, insurance and property law

Legal services for: International Clients


International Clients

Hardwicke has many years’ experience advising and acting for clients world-wide and much of our work is international in character. Our barristers have particular experience of working in Europe, the Middle East (including the Gulf States), Africa, Asia, the US and the Caribbean.

Many of our members have lived overseas and speak a range of languages, from French, German, Italian and Spanish to Hindu, Urdu, Japanese and Farsi.

Several of our members are called to the Bar in other jurisdictions and many more gain ad hoc admission to the Bars of other jurisdictions if required for a particular case.

Our International Experience

To see examples of our international work, please visit our International Experience page.

Q & A for International Organisations

  • The English Bar

    Unlike in some countries, in the UK, the legal profession is divided into two separate branches: solicitors and barristers. Whilst the differences between the two professions has changed over the years, there are still a number of distinctions that generally apply.

    Solicitors are generally responsible for transactional and non-contentious work. When disputes arise, solicitors are usually involved in the investigation, preparation and management of the claims.

    Barristers are a specialist advisors and advocates; experts in their areas of law, barristers are often asked by solicitors to advise on technical and difficult points of law and procedure. Barristers are also pre-eminent trial advocates and, in addition to presenting a case in a court or other tribunal, will often be involved in determining the strategy for disputes from the outset.

    Another important distinction is that, traditionally, barristers in England and Wales were prohibited from forming partnerships, incorporating companies and sharing profits. For that reason the vast majority of English barristers are self-employed but collectively share the occupation of a building (Chambers) and share the cost of administration and practice management.

    Traditionally, the Bar has been a referral profession with instructions coming from solicitors. In recent years those rules have been relaxed and now various professionals and overseas lawyers and clients can instruct barristers direct. Our practice team can assist you to find the best way to instruct a barrister. The first point of contact when engaging a barrister is to deal with the practice management team, who manage the barristers’ diaries, negotiate fees and can recommend the right barrister or team of barristers for your case.


  • How we can help you

    Whichever jurisdiction you are in, and whether you work in private practice or in-house, our barristers will be able to help you.

    Instructing an English barrister has several advantages, including:

    • Advocacy: Barristers are first and foremost trial advocates and English barristers are sought after for their ability to present cases in the most effective and persuasive way possible.
    • Expertise: Our barristers are also specialists in their individual fields of practice and their expertise in particular areas and sectors means that their advice is often invaluable.
    • Independence: Unlike lawyers in many jurisdictions, English barristers are generally self-employed and because of this independence is a core value you can be assured that they bring an impartial, objective view to every case.
    • Cost effectiveness: barristers generally have lower overheads and are therefore able to charge lower fees than solicitors.
    • Experience: because the Bar is primarily a referral profession, barristers are used to working closely with overseas lawyers, leading to improved efficiency and the delivery of an integrated legal service.
  • Services for international clients

    Our members offer the following services to international clients:

    • Advice on the law and procedure of England and Wales. If your dispute is based in England and Wales or if the law governing your dispute is English, our barristers can offer expert advice on all aspects of law and procedure.
    • Advice on English Contracts. We are specialists in the interpretation and enforceability of contracts governed by the law in England and Wales, or the laws of other common law countries.
    • Commercial Advice. Barristers are sought after for specialist advice on commercial situations presenting legal, factual or technical difficulties.
    • Advocacy in the Courts of England and Wales. We have a great deal of experience helping overseas clients with the court processes in England and Wales. If your are a foreign lawyer or business based abroad, our barristers will be able to give you an initial assessment of your case at very competitive rates and advise your on the most suitable firm of solicitors to use. (Under English law, a solicitor will have to be instructed once court proceedings are to be commenced.)
    • Advocacy in domestic and international arbitration. More international and commercial arbitrations take place in London than in any other city in the world. Overseas lawyers can directly instruct English barristers to appear as advocates in these arbitrations. English barristers are also able to act as advocates in arbitrations almost everywhere in the world. At Hardwicke, we have a great deal of experience acting in international arbitrations. For more information about our arbitration experience see our Arbitration page.
    • Advocacy in courts overseas. In many jurisdictions, particularly in Asia and the Caribbean, English barristers can be admitted to the local Bar to appear before the local courts. Our barristers are often engaged as advocates in these jurisdictions.
    • Expert witness services. Often disputes arise and are dealt with abroad but require expert evidence in relation to English law or procedure. Our barristers are all experts in their fields and are often called upon to give expert evidence in overseas litigation.
    • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. A focal point of a barrister’s practice is the resolution of disputes. Sometimes this will be in court or arbitration but much more frequently, disputes are resolved by negotiation. Our barristers’ commercial approach to disputes makes them pragmatic negotiators and members appear frequently in mediations worldwide. We also have experience of hybrid ADR processes such as Adjudication/ Mediaiton (Adj/Med) and Arbitration/ Mediation (Arb/Med). For more information about our expertise in many different forms of ADR, see our ADR page.
    • Acting as Arbitrator, Mediator, Adjudicator or Dispute Board Member. In addition to acting as advocates in all forms of disputes, many of our members sit as arbitrators, adjudicators and dispute board members and many more accept appointments as mediators.
  • How to instruct an English barrister

    We are happy to accept instructions directly from overseas lawyers businesses and clients.

    Your first point of contact will be with our Practice Management Team. The practice managers have extensive knowledge of all of our barristers, their experience and their upcoming commitments. They will work with you to understand your case and help you choose the right barrister or team of barristers to deal with your case.

    The practice management team can also advise you as to the likely cost of the work required (which will usually depend on the nature of the work, the amount of work and the seniority and standing of the barrister(s) concerned). All of our barristers have detailed CVs on this website so you can see their experience.

    If you require our barristers to travel to you or if you need facilities here, such as conference facilities, the practice management team will be able to arrange this.

    If your dispute is in the Courts of England and Wales, the regulations of the English legal system mean that a solicitor will need to be instructed to deal with your case. We highly recommend that you contact a barrister first so that you can obtain an impartial and cost-effective assessment of your case. We can advise you on the most suitable firms of solicitors to use for your dispute.

  • How to contact us

    Our contact details can be found on the Contact Us page. Our office hours are 8.30 to 18.30 (GMT) from Monday to Friday.

    If you need to contact us urgently outside those hours please contact one of the following:

    Chief Executive Amanda Illing on +44 (0)7919 591 418
    Practice Director Deborah Anderson on +44 (0)7703 700 796
    Senior Practice Manager Richard Sumarno on +44 (0)7841 779 166

International associations

Our barristers are members of the following international associations:

  • American Bar Association
  • Anglo-German Lawyers Association
  • The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Franco-British Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association


We ask all our clients to let us know how their experience with us has been and have a designated Feedback page where you can let us know what you think. There is also a detailed Complaints Procedure.

Useful Links

International Arbitration