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Terms & Conditions

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Direct Public Access work

The specific work and terms of engagement including fees will be agreed in advance of any work undertaken, and confirmed in the letter of engagement. I apply the Bar Standards Board's recommended standard terms adapted to my specific practice which you can find here.

Work for Solicitors

Subject to specific agreement, I work on instruction from instructing lawyers under the latest edition of the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms which you can find here.

Please note the following additional terms/clarifications which apply and which you agree by instructing me:

  1. Please be clear that unless otherwise agreed, any instruction upon which I work will be subject to the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms as clarified and or modified herein. Each time you ask me to advise/act this constitutes a separate instruction subject to the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms as they apply at the date of each such instruction. Unlike a solicitor I am not instructed upon a 'retainer' for the whole of a case.  I am entitled to rely upon a quantum meruit claim but cannot envisage any situation in which that will be necessary, as the default position will always be Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms (as clarified/modified) and only upon specific agreement otherwise will those terms be displaced. My instructing lawyer agrees that, save where challenged timeously in accordance with these terms, the fees billed in fee notes from time to time are accepted as 'reasonable' for the purposes of a quantum meruit assessment.  Please be clear as to the terms upon which I work.  I am entitled to apply those terms strictly.  It is my instructing lawyer’s responsibility to protect the client’s interests by understanding and explaining to the client the terms of engagement of counsel.  My instructing lawyer has clear actual or ostensible authority as the client’s agent to instruct me upon those terms and to bind the client, to whom this should be carefully explained by my instructing lawyer. 

  2. In order to ensure clarity as to its full effect and any limits, any advice on whether to accept or reject an offer of settlement made by the opponent must be obtained from me as an Advice in writing and you may not rely for any purpose upon your note or interpretation of my advice given in consultation. I am an advocate for the client, not the client or other party; it is not my role to decide whether to accept or reject an offer, but rather to give objective advice, and it remains the client's right to decide whether or not to accept an offer.  When the arguments are evenly balanced, or the claim is 'all or nothing' depending on the facts and legal arguments, I reserve the right to decline to advise positively either way and to leave it to the client to decide. In such a case it must be clear that I will not have advised to reject the offer.

  3. In most cases, I am prepared to work upon the basis that I will not be paid at all until completion of the case, sometimes several years, save where payment on account of my fees is made. Accordingly, I will submit Advisory Fee Notes to record work done as it is done including the hours of work undertaken and the billing rate applied to those hours. Generally, if you send me material to read, you should expect that I will do so, carefully. If you do not agree the fee rate/s charged, you must notify me within 14 days of receipt of the Advisory Fee Note in which that item first appeared and if no such issue is raised, then you agree that the fee rate is thereafter deemed for all purposes to be agreed. If you have any other issue to take on the fees charged for an item (eg. as to the time spent), you must do so within 3 months of receipt of the Advisory Fee Note in which that item first appeared and if no such issue is raised then you agree that the fee is thereafter deemed for all purposes to be agreed.

  4. However, at the completion of the case, when the Final Fee Note = Invoice is submitted, I am entitled to be paid all outstanding fees then. That is what the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms provide and that is the way that HM Revenue consider the matter when it comes to taxing me on what I earn.  Any appeal is a separate 'case' from the case taken to trial or appeal in the tribunals below.

  5. Accordingly, and in accordance with normal business practice and the specific provisions within the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms, from 30 days after submission of the Invoice interest will be charged at the rate provided for by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (as amended) or successor provisions. For the avoidance of doubt, that Act applies to my work for you (B2B) whether or not expressly incorporated into our contractual terms.

  6. Thereafter I will submit reminder Invoices including the interest accrued to the date thereof and with daily rate of interest indicated so that you can calculate the interest due to the date of payment.  Upon payment I will issue receipted Final Invoice.

  7. The instructing lawyer holds on trust for me:

    • any monies received on account of my fees from any person, including the client or any funder, and any such sum must immediately be paid to me in execution of that trust;

    • the benefit of the debt owed to the instructing lawyer by the client for payment of fees owed to me; I reserve the right in my discretion to call upon the instructing lawyer to assign to me the debt in whole or in part at any time at or after the time when any payment of my fees falls due.

  8. Accordingly, I will expect my fees to be paid whether or not they are recovered from another party just as in the case of any other disbursement of the client.  

    • I will allow time to recover costs from another party, limited in all cases to 12 months from submission of Invoice (by which time I will be required to pay tax on the outstanding fees whether received or not).  

    • However, interest will nevertheless run as above and will be payable to complete the account. 

    • I will consider reasonable requests to discount my fees to assist with settlement of costs claims, but I reserve the right not to.  It will often depend upon whether I consider that my interests have been properly represented by my instructing lawyer or, more commonly, by costs negotiators instructed by them.  I am instructed to lead the team and will do my best at all times to act in support of and to protect the best interests of all members of my team including (primarily) my client but also my instructing lawyer, including when either come in for criticism, and reasonably to maximise their recovery of compensation and costs; I expect the same in return.

 

CFA work requires separate agreement using terms based upon the APIL/PIBA terms. These require to be updated more frequently, so please email to ask for a copy of the latest terms suitable for the case with which you would like my help. 

Please note that the above terms apply generally to my work including under CFAs.  In addition: 

  1. It is a standard term of my CFA agreements that in case of any conflict between their terms and those of the standard contractual terms above, those of the specific CFA prevail. 

  2. When you instruct me I will send you a copy of my applicable CFA, including the applicable standard terms. If you do not receive those documents, please notify me and request them immediately.

  3. Any work I do upon your instruction is necessarily upon those terms and by accepting the work done you agree and or ratify those terms and their applicability.

  4. There is either a CFA in place or there is not.  I do not ‘back date’ CFAs.

  5. Unless expressly agreed in writing (as is in any event required) I do not undertake work under a ‘Nil uplift CFA’  nor under ‘CFA Lite’ terms.