With effect from 31st January 2013, members of Chambers will accept instructions on the contractual Standard Terms and Conditions issued by the Bar Council unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing. The Terms can be viewed on the Bar Standards Board website.
Members of Chambers may independently be prepared to consider two alternative terms of engagement, however they are not obliged, under the “Cab Rank Rule” of the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales, to accept instructions on any such terms.
The two alternative sets of terms are:
(a) an agreement for the supply of legal services by a barrister in a commercial case. In such a case, the form of agreement which may be used and agreed to is that published jointly by COMBAR/CLLS (version 1.4), downloadable here Under the terms of that agreement the payment basis will be Basis A and no alternative or amended version of the COMBAR Agreement will be agreed or adopted by members of Chambers;
(b) instructions may be accepted by members of Chambers on the basis of the former practice used by the Bar (previously Annex G1 to the Code of Conduct, adapted to reflect the discontinuance of the Withdrawal of Credit Scheme) as applicable prior to 31st January 2013.
An agreement under (a) or (b) above must be expressly set out and agreed in writing. For these purposes, the barrister’s clerk has authority to enter into an agreement incorporating the alternative terms of engagement on behalf of a barrister (and will only do so having first consulted with the barrister concerned).
In addition to agreeing to the terms of engagement either under the Contractual Standard Terms, the COMBAR/CLLS Version 1.4, or the Bar’s standard non-contractual terms as amended, any solicitor will be taken to have agreed, on behalf of their firm and the lay client, that any dispute regarding fees is be referred to the Voluntary Joint Tribunal on Barristers’ fees whose decision will be final and legally binding.
The new Standard Terms do not apply:
(a) in circumstances where the lay client is to be a party to the contract, unless the lay client is the Authorised Person; or
(b) In a conditional fees agreement (“CFA”) unless the CFA specifically provides for the new Standard Terms to apply (clause 2.4.2 of the new Standard Terms); or
(c) for publicly funded matters where the barrister is paid direct by the Legal Aid Agency (formerly Legal Services Commission) as party of the Community Legal Service or as part of the Criminal Defence Service or by the Crown Prosecution Service
unless the barrister and the instructing party agree to adapt the new Standard Terms, provided that no provision of the Bar Code of Conduct is thereby infringed.
For further information:
(i) full information about the Code of Conduct is published on the Bar Standards Board website here;
(ii) guidance notes on the COMBAR/CLLS Agreement can be downloaded from here;
(iii) information about the Joint Tribunal Service (together with a copy of the Joint Tribunal Standing Orders) is available here;
(iv) the Withdrawal of Credit Scheme is, from 31st January 2013, replaced by the scheme called “List of Defaulting Solicitors and other Authorised Persons 2012”. Information on these changes and the Rules in so far as they relate to complaints made against Authorised Persons can be accessed here;
(v) a guide to the new Contractual Terms published by the Bar Council is available here.
Professional indemnity insurance: All practising barristers in these chambers maintain (as a minimum) professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, managed by the Bar Mutual Management Company, 90 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4ST. Territorial coverage is worldwide, subject to the terms of cover of the Bar Mutual, which may be accessed here.
If you have any queries about members of these Chambers or other matters relating to Chambers or this site, please contact our clerks.