Standards of Service
Clients can expect and will receive the highest standards of service at all times from our members of Chambers and from our clerking and business management team.
Standard Terms of Business
Members of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square accept instructions in accordance with the current version of the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons. These can be found and downloaded from the Bar Council website. Members of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square may, on request, also be prepared to accept instructions in accordance with COMBAR Terms.
Whether you have already chosen a barrister, or are guided by our clerks, we aim to manage instructions through the clerking and business management team. This provides our clients with a permanent point of contact in the clerk’s room to manage fee and diary arrangements.
How to instruct a barrister
Direct Access sometimes referred to as Public access
Direct access and Public Access are term used to describe members of the public who may want to go directly to a barrister, without going via a solicitor first.
Not all barristers are allowed to deal with members of the public directly.
Some cases may not be suitable for Direct Access
If you are unsure about your case or eligibility please speak to one of our dedicated clerks, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Direct Access, please view the BSB Public Access Guidance for Clients.
Barristers at 4-5 can accept instructions from professional individuals and organisations licensed by the Bar Standards Board under the licensed access scheme. All instructions received under the licensed access scheme will be accepted on the basis of the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Terms of Work. Further information on the scheme can be found on the Bar Standard Board’s website, including a list of licensees.
We work in other jurisdictions
Our barristers accept instructions on matters and projects across the world and from a range of jurisdictions. We receive instructions from lawyers outside the United Kingdom as well as directly from clients.
The BSB’s international practice rules do allow foreign lawyers and clients to instruct barristers directly either:
where the work relates to matters or proceedings essentially arising or taking place or contemplated outside of England and Wales, and is to be substantially performed outside England and Wales or;
where the lay client carries on business or usually resides outside England and Wales provided that (i) the instructions emanate from outside England and Wales and (ii) the work does not involve providing advocacy services in England and Wales.
Our services and fees
All barristers are self-employed, independent practitioners operating in chambers. They share premises and administration but not profits.
Every barrister remains ultimately responsible to the client for the work they undertake.
It is not unusual however, for them to be appointed by different parties acting on opposing sides of the same case. Self-employed barristers can outsource work to pupils, to other barristers in the same chambers, and to other third parties, subject to rules on confidentiality and outsourcing.
Our barristers provide such services across a range of legal practice areas which can be found on this website. Areas of work at 4-5
A quotation for legal services or to discuss suitability and availability of barristers can be obtained at any time, email@example.com
Our aim is to provide a quotation promptly, but certainly well within the 14 days stipulated by the Bar Standards Board, and to do so in clear terms. Timescales for delivery of work are agreed on an individual basis.
Potential clients should note that the following factors may influence timescales and delivery of services from time to time,
late delivery of instructions and/or case documentation.
failure to inform the barrister about work ordered by a court or relevant deadlines.
illness of the barrister or circumstances that result in the barrister having to take a leave of absence.
availability of third parties/witnesses.
matters that become listed for hearing by a court at very short notice or require other immediate action.
Court/tribunal waiting times, hearings which overrun, i.e. hearings lasting longer than the court listings.
In some tribunals, a backlog of cases may mean a lengthy period between issue of proceedings and the final hearing stage.
Our clerking team provides full and comprehensive fee quotations and budgets for each instruction.
Fees are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Factors taken into account before a fee can be quoted, for example, risk, complexity, geographical location (of the client and the court where the matter may be litigated) seniority Barristers.
Charges are commensurate with the service provided; however, members of our clerking team are always happy to discuss fee structures, or to find alternative solutions if necessary.
Fees are reviewed periodically throughout the case in order to help manage potential fee changes.
Fixed fee arrangements
All work is estimated, and a quote given for the entire project. Quotes are given in accordance with instructions received by the client.
Chambers may ask for fixed fees to be paid in advance of the commencement of work.
Where it is not possible to agree the fee in advance, an estimate will be provided.
A ceiling on fees to be charged can sometimes be agreed.
If work takes longer than anticipated, our clerking team will contact you to amend the agreement.
Fees for a court or tribunal hearing will usually consist of a ‘brief’ fee and, in more substantial cases, ‘refreshers’ may be added. Additional expenses may also be claimed for travel and overnight accommodation and subsistence.
A brief fee is an agreed fixed fee that covers all pre-hearing direct preparation for the case (e.g. reviewing papers, preparing cross-examinations, researching legal issues, preparing a closing speech) and the first day of hearing.
A refresher is the fixed agreed fee for any subsequent day of the hearing after the first day.
In some instances, a reservation fee may be levied for each day of tribunal/court work that a barrister is booked for, a fee which is payable if the case settles or withdraws before a brief fee is incurred. This reflects the fact that a barrister has been committed to your case and has not accepted other bookings for the dates.
The reservation fee would normally be deducted from a brief fee if a case goes ahead.
There may instances, for example, where a case is adjourned at short notice before starting and/or to a date months ahead, when a ‘re-reading’ fee will be applied.
Hourly rate arrangements
All work is undertaken on a set hourly rate basis.
An estimate of the work to be undertaken will be provided and quoted in advance.
All hours of work are tracked and billed either as the case goes along or at the conclusion of the case.
This is our most commonly used pricing model is the hourly rate model.
Each individual barrister has an hourly rate which takes into account the barrister’s skills, experience and expertise.
Hourly rates for a case or a specific piece of work will usually, wherever possible, be agreed in advance.
Hourly rates will reflect complexity, case value & urgency and cover reading documents, preparing written documents and advocacy.
For fees based on hourly rates, the rates will vary according to barrister seniority, urgency of the case, and/or complexity.
We will always give you advice on a suitable Barrister and we will provide you with an accurate assessment of costs.
As a guide only, Barristers fees may range as follows:
Queen’s Counsel (Silk): £500 - £1,500 + per hour + VAT
Over 15 years’ experience: £275 – £750 per hour + VAT
10-15 years’ experience: £250 – £450 per hour + VAT
5-10 years’ experience: £150 – £275 per hour + VAT
Under 5 years’ experience: £75 – £150 per hour + VAT
Conditional fee arrangement (CFA).
These agreements are subject to a risk assessment by the Barrister. Payments under this model are dependent upon whether the barrister wins the case. Consideration must be given to insurance to cover costs.
Variations can include,
No win then no fee payable,
Negotiation of smaller fixed fees on no win
Payable by instalments irrespective of outcome.
Damages based agreement (DBA).
No charge if damages are not recovered.
If damages are recovered, then a percentage of the amount recovered will be payable.
Costs recovered from the losing side can be set of be set off against the DBA fee.
Barristers are self-employed independent practitioners called to the Bar of England and Wales and regulated by the Bar Standards Board. They share premises and administration but not profits.
All barristers in independent practice in England and Wales are insured with specialist insurers Bar Mutual (BMIF). Bar Mutual is not a commercial insurance company.
Conflicts of interest
We carry out comprehensive conflict checks before accepting instructions. In the event that separate members of Chambers are engaged to act for different parties in the same matter we have systems and procedures in place to ensure the confidentiality is maintained.
At 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square we work hard to minimise our environmental impact. Not only do we make sure that all of our staff and members are aware of their role in helping 4-5 reduce its environmental impact, we also work with our suppliers to enhance our environmental performance.
We are vigilant and rigorous when it comes to data protection. At 4-5 all of our staff and members are acutely aware of their role in maintaining the highest levels of data protection. We also ensure that our systems are designed to guard against any data loss or compromise.
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