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New Contractual Terms
The Code of Conduct now provides that, with effect from 31 January 2013, barristers are obliged under the Cab Rank Rule to accept instructions which are offered either (a) on the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services to Authorised Persons annexed to the Code (“the Bar Council Terms”) or (b) on terms which a barrister or the barrister’s chambers have published as the barrister’s standard terms of work.
At 9 Bedford Row the barristers’ published standard terms of work are the terms agreed between The Commercial Bar Association (Combar) and the City of London Law Society (“the Combar/CLLS Terms”).
Accordingly, with effect from 31 January 2013, barristers at 9 Bedford Row are obliged under the Cab Rank Rule to accept instructions which are offered (a) on the Bar Council Terms or (b) on the Combar/CLLS Terms.
Barristers at 9 Bedford Row will, of course, consider alternative terms of engagement, or variations to the published Terms; but they are not obliged under the Cab Rank Rule to accept instructions on such terms. It should also be noted that barristers at 9 Bedford Row will not be applying the new contractual terms as a matter of routine to each and every new instruction, so neither the Bar Council Terms nor the Combar/CLLS Terms should be viewed as default terms.
Where the Combar/CLLS Terms are to be used to provide the barrister’s services, this may be achieved by the solicitor and the barrister completing the front sheet of the Terms and signing it. Alternatively, it may be achieved by an email exchange confirming that the barrister and the solicitor intend to be bound by a contract incorporating the Terms, and setting out the information required by the front sheet of the Terms, together with any amendments agreed. A barrister's clerk has authority for these purposes to enter into an agreement incorporating the Terms on behalf of a barrister.
If you have any questions or queries in relation to the implementation or application of the new contractual terms, then please contact Paul Outen, the Senior Clerk, on +44 (0)20 7 489 2727 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Agreement for the Supply of Legal Services by a Barrister in a Commercial Case (the Combar CLLS Barrister's Terms) can be downloaded here. The Bar Council terms can be downloaded here.
Client Care Policy
• Nine Bedford Row is committed to flexibility, fairness and openness and, in appropriate cases, happy to either estimate or agree fees prior to work being undertaken. • .Where the brief is for advice/opinion a written reply will be given within 15 working days unless agreed otherwise. If an extension to this time is required, the client will be advised by telephone by the Barrister or his Clerk and a new reporting date agreed. • The Client will be advised promptly of the outcome of court appearances and of the next stage in the case. • A conflict of interest check will be carried out by the Clerks Room upon receipt of a brief and alternative arrangements made, including the transfer to another Chambers if required. • If a brief needs to be reallocated due to factors beyond Chambers' control, then the professional client will be advised by telephone at the earliest opportunity and the brief reallocated to a barrister of equal standing and experience, but not without the prior agreement of the professional client. • Standard matter fee invoices will are issued promptly after the end of a case or an agreed stage of the case, usually be within 5 working days. • Papers are returned to the professional client after the completion of the case - usually within 10 working days.
Basis of Fees
In advance of undertaking any work, a cost estimate will be povided - unless fixed fees are already in place. If it is not possible to estimate the final figure that will be charged for a specific item of work, an indication will be given as to the basis on which the fee will be calculated (for instance, an hourly rate or an agreed figure which will not be exceeded without further discussion with the client).
Where Counsel is instructed under a publicly funded certificate we will require a copy of the certificate or in the case of unassigned criminal magistrates work, the Unique File Number as Counsel are now obliged to ensure that his/her work is covered by the terms of a certificate.
In cases where a brief fee and/or refreshers are estimated, not agreed, the fee will include a rough estimate of preparation time, conferences, days in court, the involvement of other counsel and so on. For other work such as written advices, opinions, views of a locus etc an hourly charging rate can be agreed where it is not possible to provide a fixed time estimate in advance of the work being undertaken.
Chambers Complaints Procedure
Our aim is to provide you with a good quality service at all times. However, in the event that you do have a complaint please let us know at the earliest opportunity so that we may take immediate steps to deal with any difficulties that you may be experiencing. Chambers has a full and comprehensive complaints procedure which follows the guidelines set out in Barmark. A copy of Chambers complaints procedure can be obtained on request from the Senior Clerk either by telephone or in writing, at any time, and can be viewed here.
Nine Bedford Row Chambers has as one of its objectives the aim "To provide an excellent legal service to its clients in the area of criminal law". To this end, these Chambers and its barristers accept and discharge their responsibility to ensure that the needs, concerns and interests of our clients are constantly kept in view, and addressed. Please click here to download our client feedback form.