Our Barristers approach each case as a unique combination of the Client’s needs, the history and circumstances of the matter in question, and the specific points of law that apply.
We follow a code of practice and established procedures in every case to ensure efficiency, quality and consideration in the way we deal with our Clients and professional colleagues at all times.
Upon receipt of case papers, the barrister will promptly determine if he/she is competent to undertake the work bearing in mind any conflicts of interest, time restrictions and funding arrangements.
Instructing Solicitors will be informed of any preparatory steps needed to be made and are kept up to date with progress.
Briefs or instructions are dealt with by the clerks professionally and efficiently.
- Receipt of all papers is acknowledged by way of letter or email.
- Communications from professional clients are recorded and delivered appropriately.
- Messages are checked regularly by Counsel and replies made by the end of that business day where practicable.
About our members
All of the barristers at St Albans Chambers are self-employed and each of whom is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). You will find the details of the BSB here The BSB website includes the Barristers’ Register (The Barristers’ Register Page) and the Code of Conduct which regulates the professional behaviour and standards of all barristers.
Individual members of Chambers are all members of the Bar Council of England and Wales, an organisation which provides representation, support and services for barristers.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
All barristers in Chambers have professional indemnity Insurance to a minimum level of £500,000, although many barristers have additional indemnity insurance in excess of the minimum. Insurance cover is provided by Bar Mutual. Some barristers have further top-up insurance.
Main Features of our Barristers Services
Standard Terms with solicitors and other authorised persons
St Albans Chambers reserves the right (if appropriate in any particular case) only to accept instructions subject to the Bar Council’s Standard Contractual Terms. A copy can be found here. Alternatively a copy can be sent to you on request to our clerks.
Direct Access Instruction
If you are not a solicitor or other ‘authorised’ person (i.e. one regulated by the Law Society or SRA) then Chambers’ default position is that the barrister will provide services to you under a Direct Access agreement.
In each case it will be the individual barrister through his or her clerk who agrees the relevant terms of business with you. Terms will have to be formally agreed before the barrister starts work.
For further information concerning Direct Access instructions please visit https://www.stalbanschambers.co.uk/direct-access/
Price Transparency Policy Statement
St Albans Chambers is fully committed to transparency in relation to the fees we charge.
We accept instructions from Solicitors, professional / lay clients under the Direct Access Scheme and licenced access clients.
Authorised licensed access clients are those persons and organisations and/or their members and/or their employees (as the case may be) who have from time to time been approved as such by the Bar Standards Board. Any person or organisation wishing to be approved as an authorised licensed access client shall apply in writing to the Bar Standards Board by completing an application form in such form and supplying such other information as the Bar Standards Board may from time to time or in any particular case require.
Our clerking team are able to provide fee estimates and will quote on a fixed fee or hourly rate basis dependant on the requirements of those instructing. Please see our Funding options below for further details as to how we calculate our fees.
There are various methods of funding legal advice and representation.
For Family and Criminal work unless Privately funded, we would claim our fees directly from the Legal Aid Agency . For most clients facing the prospect of criminal prosecution they will be entitled to legal aid with or without contributions.
Conditional Fee Agreement
This is a legal funding arrangement where you only pay for your lawyers work on the condition that your case is won and you receive damages. So if your claim is unsuccessful you’re not left with a bill for legal work. It should be noted that we do not provide this option for clients under the Direct Access Scheme.
Privately funded cases
Some clients choose to instruct our barristers on a privately-funded basis. In these circumstances the clerks will provide a Brief fee (considered the first day of trial and to include the trial preparation) and the ‘refresher’ fees (considered the days that run each day after the brief fee). The fees are calculated based on the size of the papers that are to be prepared, the length of the hearing, the nature of the hearing and the seniority of the barrister.
Any work that is subject to an hourly charge will be calculated at the Barristers current rate which will be clearly communicated to you in advance. Barristers have different hourly rates, commensurate with their experience and their specialist area of law and are subject to change.
Requests for quotes involving Direct Access clients will be managed in the same way but consideration will be given to the need for clients to be given as much information as possible at an early stage as it is accepted that these clients may wish to obtain other quotations.
We are not permitted to accept retainers and we do not have a client account, therefore the quotes we provide under the scheme are specific to the piece of work to be completed. For Direct Access instructions we require clients to make the necessary payment of fees in advance of the work to be undertaken upon receipt or our invoice.
While quotations will be binding, if the scope of the legal services changes, then the quotation will no longer be binding. It should also be noted that providing a quotation does not amount to the acceptance of instructions.
Direct Access Services subject to price transparency requirements
The Bar Standards Board has recently determined that the following services should be subject to price transparency requirements:
- Employment Tribunal Cases
- Financial disputes arising out of divorce (joint assets lees than £300,000)
- Immigration appeals (First-tier Tribunal)
- Inheritance Act advices
- Licensing applications in relation to business premises
- Personal injury claims
- Summary only motoring offences
- Winding-up petitions
Please click here St Albans Chambers Price Transparency Information to see our pricing structures for the areas of work covered above to assist you in making the decision whether to instruct counsel.
Our fees are flexible and we do our best to match our client’s budgets. The more information that we have about a matter, the easier it is to provide an accurate estimate at the outset. We aim to provide you with a fully explained quotation within 7 days of you contacting us with an enquiry.
There will be occasions when circumstances change, instructions are amended or other reasons but we will always endeavour to notify clients in advance in circumstances where this may lead to an increase in the fees to be charged.
We always seek to ensure that the agreed timescales for providing advice are adhered to but will notify the client if there is likely to be any delay and the reason for the same. The most common reasons for a change in pricing are:
- The availability of the appointed barrister, the client or relevant third parties
- The amount of paperwork to be reviewed
- The need for and the process of obtaining additional information and documents
- The approach taken by the other side in the proceedings
- Whether any third party seeks to intervene in the case
- Court waiting times
Please contact our helpful clerking team on 01727 843383 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs in more detail and find the appropriate barrister for your case.