- How do we charge for our services?
Instructing a barrister need not be expensive and it often compares favourably to instructing other professionals such as solicitors and accountants. 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/risk involved. Fees for advice on smaller, simpler matters can start from around £1,000 plus VAT.
For advisory work we will generally offer fixed or capped fees. This means that the fee will not exceed (except under exceptional circumstances) an agreed figure. However, that may involve us taking some risk on how long the work takes and the fixed fee is likely to take that into consideration. A capped fee is similar to a fixed fee, but is used when we are less certain about how much time will be required. It may mean that the fee ultimately charged might be less than the stated cap.
If a matter develops into a hearing at a Tribunal or Court, we will usually charge by way of Brief fees and Refresher fees. A Brief fee is a fixed fee that covers all the steps necessary to prepare for a hearing. It will usually cover all work from the point the case enters the Barristers diary, up to and including the first day of the hearing. Obviously that can cover a considerable period of time when cases are fixed months in advance. A Refresher fee is charged for each day after the first day.
For some types of work we may charge a flat hourly rate although we find most clients prefer the certainty of fixed fees.
If we have an established relationship with you, then we will usually bill for work after it has been completed. If not, then we may require fees to be paid in advance.
Any concerns over fees should be directed to our Clerks who will do their utmost to find a mutually acceptable arrangement and will pleased to explain how fees are calculated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 information.
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 INSTRUCTING 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, the complexity of your matter and how much documentation there is to consider. It may also depend on whether or not they are currently involved in other court/tribunal cases. However, as we have over 35 barristers in Chambers we can usually find someone to assist in whatever timeframe is required.