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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.


Referral instruction by solicitors and other instructing lawyers

Subject to specific agreement including as set out below, I work on instruction from instructing lawyers under the latest edition of the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms which my instructing lawyer can find here.


Please note the following additional terms/clarifications which apply and which as my instructing lawyer you agree by instructing me and accepting my work done in response to my those:

  1. Please be clear that save as otherwise expressly agreed in writing, any instruction upon which I work will be under these terms incorporating the Bar Council's Standard Contractual Terms as clarified and or modified here. 

  2. Each time you ask me to advise/act this constitutes a separate instruction subject to these terms as they apply at the date of each such instruction. Unless expressly agreed otherwise, I am not instructed upon a 'retainer' for the whole of a case. Any appeal is a separate 'case' from the case taken to trial or appeal in the tribunals below. I do not work upon the historical 'honorarium' basis and the terms of my instruction are always contractual in nature. Accordingly, 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 these terms, and only upon specific written agreement otherwise will they be displaced or modified. 

  3. You and our client agree that, save where challenged timeously in accordance with these terms, the fees billed in fee notes from time to time are agreed, and accepted as 'reasonable' generally and specifically for the purposes of a quantum meruit assessment. 

  4. Please be clear as to the terms upon which I work. I am entitled to apply those terms strictly. It is your responsibility to protect our client’s interests by understanding and explaining to the client the terms of engagement of counsel, and a failure to put in place proper terms of instruction of counsel and or to mischaracterise the basis of instruction is a disciplinary matter in the view of the SRA. 

  5. As my instructing lawyer you have, and you agree that you have, clear actual or ostensible authority as the client’s agent to instruct me upon these terms and to bind the client as to these terms and agreement of fees, and this must be carefully explained by you to our client. I undertake work for you on behalf of our client only upon the representation by you that this is agreed and has been done.

  6. To enable proper preparation given the value and complexity of the work I am instructed to undertake, Brief must be delivered at least 21 days ahead of a trial listing and 14 days ahead of the listing of applications and other interlocutory hearings, and any Brief is deemed to have been so delivered for fees purposes. Just as with other experts needed to bring and present the case, if you book me to do work and I commit time in my diary to do it, I expect to be compensated upon a proper business basis where you 'stand me down' for whatever reason. At the level of work in which I practise, it will ordinarily simply not be possible to obtain 'alternative work' to fill in for the lost working time. The following charges should be considered as conventional Brief/Refresher fees together with cancellation/booking fees to cover these situations.  Clearly the cancellation/booking fee element does not arise if the work commitment proceeds as you originally anticipated in booking me, so that, for example, a Brief fee with booking fee for lost working time included will appear larger than the Brief fee had the case proceeded to full hearing. Therefore, in the case of any listed hearing day for which I am thus briefed and professionally committed to appear, if the case settles or is vacated following delivery of Brief (whether actual or deemed):

    • during the period within 21-15 days inclusive of a listed hearing day, a fee will be payable for each such listed hearing day as to 50% of the Brief fee and 25% of the Refresher fee as the case may be;

    • during the period within 14-8 days inclusive of a listed hearing day, a fee will be payable for each such listed hearing day as to 100% of the Brief fee and 50% of the Refresher fee as the case may be;

    • during the period within 7-1 days inclusive of a listed hearing day, a fee will be payable for each such listed hearing day as to 100% of the Brief fee and 100% of the Refresher fee as the case may be.

  7. In many referral instruction cases, in accordance with industry practice when acting for claimant, I agree 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 (whereupon you must account to me immediately for the portion of such payment which my fees to that date form of the client's overall costs). In these cases I do not incur expense and nor am I 'kept out of money' so as to merit charging interest on fees billed.  Instead, I remain unentitled to be paid for my work until the case is complete and the Final Fee Note = Invoice is submitted to you.  In light of those factors, you agree in instructing me that my Final Fee Note = Invoice will be correctly charged for all items of work at the current hourly rate based upon the initially agreed hourly rate/s uplifted for inflation only in accordance with paragraph 8 below. Accordingly I will submit Advisory Fee Notes to record the work done as it is done including the hours of work undertaken but with provisional hourly rate/s applied to those hours. In case of any fee billed to you for work done, you are of course entitled to enter a complaint or challenge if you feel it is wrong or unjustified, but in order for me to decide whether to accept further instructions, it being my free choice whether to do so subject always to my professional obligations under the Code of Conduct for Barristers, I apply the following requirements as to notification of such complaint or challenge: (a) If you or the client do not agree the fee rate for an item of work set out in a fee note, you must notify me within 14 days of receipt of the fee note (including Advisory Fee Note) in which that item of work first appeared, or prior to re-instructing me to undertake further work in this or any other matter, whichever is sooner, and, if no such issue is raised, then you both agree that the fee rate is thereafter deemed for all purposes to be agreed as reasonable and payable by you as solicitor, and subject to uplifting as above and in accordance with paragraph 8. (b) If you or the client have any other issue to take with the hours spent or fees charged for an item, you or the client must do so within 3 months of receipt of the fee note (including Advisory Fee Note) in which that item first appeared, or prior to re-instructing me to undertake further work in this or any other matter, whichever is sooner, and if no such issue is raised then you agree (subject to later inflationary uplift as above to the date of payment) both the itemised provisional fee and that the entitlement to the itemised fee is thereafter deemed for all purposes to be agreed, including by conduct in continuing further to instruct me.  Your liability to pay my fees is not limited by reference to either (a) the extent of any entitlement to recover costs (including as to my fees) from any other person or party, or (b) our client's entitlement to have 'taxed' the charges you make to the client for provision of my services.

  8. Unless otherwise expressly agreed, from the commencement of each calendar year I will charge my work at fee rates uplifted from the previously billed rate by the annual percentage increase in the RPI to the previous December.  I will make no further increase than this which is designed only to maintain the value of my work.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 Final Fee Note = 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, although we are expressly agreeing its application to our professional business relationship, that Act applies to my work for you ‘business-to-business’ (B2B) whether or not expressly incorporated into our contractual terms.

  11. Thereafter I will submit reminder Invoices itemising the interest accrued to the date thereof and ongoing daily rate of interest so that you can calculate the interest due to the date of payment. Upon full payment of all charges and any accrued interest I will issue receipted Closing Invoice.

  12. It is hereby declared in writing and you agree by instructing me upon these terms that you hold on trust for me (so that neither form of sum/debt constitutes any part of your estate or that of your principal/s for distribution in the event of insolvency):

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

    • the benefit of the debt owed to you as my instructing lawyer by our client for payment of outstanding fees owed to me; I am hereunder entitled in my absolute discretion to call upon you or any successor in title of yours to that debt to assign to me the debt at any time at or after the time when any payment of my fees falls due and do all such things as are necessary to perfect my title to that debt.

  13. Accordingly my fees are payable by you and or our client whether or not they are recovered from another party just as in the case of any other disbursement of/on behalf of our client. 

    • Upon request I may (in my absolute discretion) allow prior to payment of my fees due time to recover costs from another party, limited in all cases to 12 months from submission of Final Fee Note = Invoice (by which time I will be liable 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 in my absolute discretion not to do so. (For information, it will often depend upon whether I consider that my interests have been properly represented by my instructing lawyers 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) our lay 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 support in return.)

  14. For the avoidance of any doubt it must be clear that I advise upon matters upon which I am asked to advise and that is the limit of my professional duty.

  15. Unless you instruct me otherwise in advance, if you send me documentary material, you are instructing me to consider that material, and you expect and agree that I will take the time required to read/view it carefully. 

  16. 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 our client, and I am 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 (and obligation) 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 way the evidence may appear when tested, and legal arguments thereupon, 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. 

  17. In order that I am properly covered by the Bar’s professional insurance (BMIF), I only accept instruction upon the specific basis that in no circumstances shall my liability under contractual terms of my engagement, whether to my instructing lawyer, to my lay client, or to any third party, and whether in the type or extent or quantum of damage, exceed my liability at common-law in tort were no such contract to exist.

  18. When asked, I will provide estimates of anticipated charges for coming work, including for the purposes of court budgeting.  It must be clearly understood that:

  • these are estimates given by me on my best information at the time;

  • at all times you and not I retain conduct of the case on behalf ​​of our client;

  • in requesting such estimates it is your obligation to anticipate the required work; I will of course help with suggestions as to this where I can, but such suggestions/advice will not affect my entitlement to be paid for work actually done in due course;

  • if you wish me to limit items of work to maximum time/fees you must make that clear when giving instructions for those items of work and I will do so subject to my professional obligations and integrity; if it is not in my professional judgment possible for me to undertake the work upon the time/fee restraint sought to reimposed you may expect that I will be forced to withdraw from the case and I reserve the right to do so in my absolute professional discretion and you so agree in instructing me;

  • otherwise I will seek to help to limit fees charged in accordance with prior estimates given but am not bound to do so, in particular where the information has changed and/or the work required has not been as was anticipated when the estimate/s was/were given.


Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs)

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

  2. Please note that save as otherwise provided herein, all above terms apply generally to my work including under CFAs. 

  3. In case of any conflict between the express CFA terms and those of these standard contractual terms, those of the specific CFA prevail.

  4. When you instruct me I will send you a copy of my applicable CFA, including a case Detail Sheet and the applicable CFA Standard Terms (together ‘my CFA terms’). 

    • If you do not receive my CFA terms, you will please notify me and request them immediately. 

    • ​​Until I have sent those terms to you by email there can be no CFA instruction and if you instruct me to advise or act, that is by default under the private disbursement terms as set out above.

    • Where you have received my CFA terms, any work I undertake upon your instruction thereafter is (save and to the extent only as expressly agreed otherwise in advance) necessarily upon those terms and by accepting the work done you agree and or ratify those terms (if expressly modified in advance, as so modified) and their applicability.

    • You agree in instructing me under the CFA as above that you will forthwith upon receipt of my CFA terms complete any formalities required for regulatory compliance, including by your countersignature, and return final version of the CFA to me for my records.

  5. Accordingly, and for the avoidance of any doubt:

    • There is either a CFA in place or there is not.

    • If you instruct me under a CFA and I agree to be so instructed, the instruction can only be under my CFA terms.

    • I do not ‘back date’ CFAs.

    • Unless expressly agreed in writing (as is in any event required) I undertake work under neither ‘Nil uplift CFA’ nor ‘CFA Lite’ terms. 

    • It is your professional obligation to ensure that where work under CFA is proposed, the necessary written CFA is executed and I bear no responsibility in that regard. 

    • If for whatever reason the proposed CFA instruction fails to comply with regulatory requirements or is unlawful and or unenforceable then you agree that I am and have throughout been instructed upon the conventional disbursement basis upon my terms as set out above.


Applicable Hourly rates

  1. As between individual cases this varies according to the nature, profile and complexity of the case.

  2. For referral work from a lawyer, my normal charging rate is currently in the range £650-850.

  3. For public (direct) access there are additional burdens of client care and administration and my normal charging rate is currently in the range £750-950.

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