Delivery of the Brief
In order that cases can be properly prepared, please ensure the brief is delivered within the following time scale:
- Up to 1 day in length – 3 working days before the hearing
- From 2-5 days in length – 5 working days before the hearing
- From 6-10 days in length – 10 working days before the hearing
- Cases in excess of 10 days – to be agreed on a case by case basis
When a barrister is booked to attend court for a privately paying client, you will receive an invoice shortly after the work has been completed. Our payment terms are 30 days from the date of invoice. All of the services we offer are bound by the new standard contractual terms as from the date of implementation on 31st January 2013. A copy of these terms is available here and can be viewed on the Bar Standards Board website at http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/ .
Where a case is removed from Counsel’s diary at short notice a fee will be deemed payable. This is to provide remuneration both for the preparatory work undertaken by counsel and to allow for the lost work. When a case is removed from a barrister’s diary at short notice, it is unlikely that we will be able to replace the lost work. As each barrister is self-employed, this could mean receiving no income each time a case is cancelled. The reason for the cancellation could be an agreed adjournment between the parties, the court removing the matter from the list, the case settling or some other unforeseen reason.
Where the court removes a case at short notice it may be possible for the client to claim their fees back through the HM Courts Complaints Procedure. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-courts-and-tribunals-service/about/complaints-procedure .
Our cancellation fees are:
For cases with a time estimate of 1 day or less
- the full fee at 12 noon 2 working days before the hearing (e.g. for a Thursday case the fee is incurred at 12 noon on Tuesday)
For cases with a time estimate of over 1 day
- 50% at 4 pm on the 5th calendar day before the hearing
- the full fee at 4 pm 2 working days before the hearing
For cases with a time estimate of 5 days or more
- 50% at 4 pm on the 10th calendar day before the hearing
- the full fee at 4 pm 7 working days before the hearing
We are happy to discuss a waiver or reduction of these timescales in particular cases, however, in some larger cases, we may require them to be extended.
All of the barristers at St Albans Chambers are self-employed and rely on regular cash flow for all of their income. All fees must, therefore, be paid within 30 days of a fee note being submitted for payment. If you think you may have some difficulty paying within this time scale you must contact the clerks prior to work commencing or at the earliest point within the 30-day period. Similarly, if there is any dispute over the level of fees or service provided this must be raised within the 30-day period.
As well as the traditional payment by cheque, we also accept payment by bank transfer and credit or debit card.
Account Name: St Albans Chambers
Sort Code: 60 18 11
Account Number: 17014042
Please quote our case reference number on any payments.
Where our case reference is not quoted, we may not be able to cross-reference the payment and may assume the fee is still outstanding. Following confirmation that the funds are in our account, we will send out a receipt to confirm payment.
If you wish to pay by credit or debit card please telephone the clerks on 01727 843383. We use the Worldpay portal for payments. The payer will receive a receipt shortly after payment has been received.
In relation to criminal fees, St Albans Chambers adopts the Bar Council’s Graduated Fee Payment Protocol.
In relation to Family cases, we will send fee notes indicating the amount counsel has claimed whenever any work has been completed. These fees are always provisional and can be adjusted by the LAA. The fee notes are indicative of the likely fees and are provided to you to ensure the financial limit on the public funding certificate is not exceeded. The LAA normally write directly to you when counsel has been paid and with details of any reductions to counsel’s fees. We may, however, be appealing any reductions made and would ask you to contact us to confirm the position.
When you instruct counsel, please ensure that where it is available the brief to counsel includes the most up to date public funding certificate. Where no public funding certificate is in place or where the certificate does not cover the work undertaken by counsel we will look to you for payment of counsel’s fees. If this case is being dealt with under a VHCC or is likely to become a VHCC please could you contact the clerks at the earliest opportunity.
The LAA insist that instructions to counsel clearly state:
- what type of hearing counsel is instructed to attend upon
- the estimated length of that hearing
- the time the case is listed
- the time counsel is ordered to attend (when it is earlier than the court start time)
- that counsel is to advise the client in conference at court prior to the hearing
Without this information, it will be impossible to claim for counsel’s fees from the LAA and this may subsequently delay any claim you make.