- Is instructing a barrister expensive?
Instructing a barrister need not be expensive. Our fees are calculated case by case, based on the time commitment required of the barrister in question, the complexity of the case and the degree of responsibility involved. Under this flexible system, fees for advice on smaller, simpler matters can start from around £750 plus VAT.
Any concerns over fees should be directed to our Clerks who will do their utmost to find a mutually acceptable arrangement.
- Can I instruct a barrister directly?
We accept instructions from solicitors or, under Licensed Access, accountants and members of other authorised bodies. Some of our Barristers can also accept instructions directly from members of the public under a scheme known as Public Access.
For further information please refer to How to instruct us, under About.
- Isn't it expensive to instruct a barrister to appear in court or before a tribunal?
Not necessarily. The preparation of a case is important and (if done properly) time consuming. A barrister will accept instructions to appear for a fixed fee, or the Brief Fee (plus “refresher” if the case goes into a second or subsequent day). This will include preparation of the case as well as appearance at the hearing itself. The cost will often compare favourably with the fees an accountant or solicitor would charge for the preparation and hearing. It also allows you to know in advance how much the case will cost.
- Do I have to come to Chambers to speak to Counsel?
No. Many conferences, particularly those involving pure points of law are handled over the telephone. There will however be some matters where a face to face meeting will be preferable. Generally this will be in Chambers, but Members can travel to a location convenient for you and your client (although this may increase the fee). Alternatively we can arrange video conferences.
In particular, if you have a number of clients with issues to be addressed by Counsel it may be beneficial for a number of conferences at your premises to be arranged on the same day. Such arrangements could also take the form of a seminar. All enquiries of this sort should be made to the clerks.
- Should a note be taken of oral advice?
- Does a solicitor need to be instructed for a barrister to go to Court?
A barrister will normally be instructed by a solicitor if he is to appear in the County Court, High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court or the CJEU (if the matter is referred by one of these courts). However the Bar Council’s rules were relaxed in 2004 and in some circumstances barristers may be instructed directly, for advocacy, without a solicitor being involved. Please see our “How to Instruct us” section for more detailed advice.
There is no requirement for a solicitor to be involved where a matter is before the Tax Tribunals, or even the CJEU if referred by those tribunals.
For further information please see our How To Instruct Us page.
- Can Barristers in the same Chambers appear against each other?
- What is the difference between a QC and a Junior?
QC or “Silk” has traditionally been the recognition of a Barrister who excels in the field of advocacy. This does not mean that someone who has not taken Silk and remains a Junior is any less successful, able or experienced in his or her field. It is simply that their practice and expertise has been concentrated in advisory work rather than litigation. This is especially so at the Revenue Bar where much of the advice sought will not involve litigation.
Additionally some of our Members have joined the Bar from other specialised professions, which has given them invaluable experience relevant to their particular field of tax which would have been impossible to gain from the Bar.
- When (and why) do I need a QC and a junior?
- What should I send when instructing a barrister?
As well as a clear indication of the advice required, Instructions should include:
- List of documents
- Summary of facts (including background information)
- Arguments already considered or advanced by the other side
- Any relevant correspondence, especially correspondence had with HMRC
- Questions to which answers are and are not required
- An indication of the amount of money involved
- Whether the advice should be in writing
- When the advice is required (giving a precise date if possible)
- An indication of whom Counsel should contact with questions and/or to give the advice
- What documents should I include?
- Should I send the original documents?
- How formal need the instructions be?
- Can I send instructions by email?
- Can we arrange a video conference?
- Why have you asked for Money Laundering client identification?
- What are the default contractual terms?
- How quickly can you help me?
Turnaround time for advisory work can be as little as a few hours – if the matter is particularly urgent. More generally, response times will be dictated by how busy any particular barrister is and whether or not they are currently involved in Court/Tribunal cases. However, as we have over 35 barristers in Chambers we can usually find someone to assist in whatever timeframe is required.