Quality Assurance Standard
We recognise that our success in practice depends upon ensuring that our clients are entirely satisfied with the service we provide.
We are committed to the high standards we set ourselves in this document. We will monitor our performance to ensure that we maintain these standards. We will regularly consult our clients and undertake internal reviews to ensure that the needs, concerns and interests of clients are kept constantly in view, and where necessary, addressed.
We comply with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for the Bar of England and Wales.
Organisation and Management
We are organised and managed in accordance with our Chambers Constitution. We will ensure that the organisation and management of chambers is undertaken so that decisions made by properly authorised persons or bodies are consistent and are implemented promptly.
We recognise the importance of proper strategic planning and marketing. We have adopted machinery to devise, implement and review strategic planning.
We believe that providing the most effective response requires us to work as part of a team with our clients. We provide our clients guidance on how to get the best service from us.
We provide a prompt response to communications from our clients.
We inform our clients as to the basis upon which fees will be charged at the outset of any retainer on a case.
We inform our clients in what timescale Counsel expects to complete work upon instructions received. If it seems that there are factors that might lead to delay, we will inform our clients promptly about the delay and the reasons for it, and provide a revised timescale for the work to be done.
We keep adequate records in each case to support the fees charged, unless the fees are for standard items of work.
We check instructions promptly in order to identify potential or existing conflicts of interests early and bring them to the attention of our lay and professional clients.
We notify our clients as soon as possible if the counsel of choice is or may be unavailable for any particular engagement. We will seek, with the client's permission, to provide suitable alternative counsel.
We have a complaints procedure and agreed authority to resolve disputes, with a single point of contact and central recording. The progress of every formal complaint is monitored. We provide for independent assessment and conciliation of complaints.
We review our client care arrangements regularly to ensure that the needs, concerns and interests of clients are kept constantly in view, and where necessary, addressed
Management of Briefs, instructions and clerking services
We make proper provision for registering and acknowledging the receipt of briefs and instructions. We make proper provision for the security of instructions and in particular sensitive material. We carry professional indemnity insurance.
We have established procedures for recruiting pupils and established practitioners. Our pupils are potentially our colleagues and successors to our practice. We seek to train them properly, to monitor and report upon their progress and to distribute work to them fairly.
We consider our staff to be a great asset. They are:
- Sufficient in number to support our practice
- Appropriately qualified and trained
- Properly managed
- Our planning anticipates future staffing requirements.
We manage our financial affairs in an effective, economical and ethical manner.
We pay our financial obligations in a timely manner.
We have proper arrangements for the issue of fee notes, the effective pursuing of fees, credit control and petty cash.
We take appropriate measures to ensure that our financial and marketing data are protected against corruption or destruction and are kept lawfully.
We use the data at our disposal to assist us in devising our procedures and to develop the scope and profitability of our practice.
Premises and facilities
Our premises are:
- Safe for clients, staff and members of chambers.
- Appropriate to the service we provide.
- Properly equipped for the service we provide.
We comply with our statutory obligations relating to the Health and Safety of our clients, our employees and members of chambers.
We are committed to and put into effect the Equality Code for the Bar
Candidates for pupillage and tenancy are recruited and appointed fairly, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion or (subject to the physical requirements of practice) disability and in accordance with the Chambers protocol on recruitment.
Recruitment of and selection procedures for staff are conducted in the same way.
We are committed to and put into effect equality of opportunity in Chambers. In particular, we:
- Adhere to the Code of Conduct Pupillage Guidelines
- Do not accede to discriminatory instructions from professional clients, whether solicitors or other instructing agents
- Have a system for the fair distribution of work to working pupils and in respect of unnamed work coming into Chambers
- Adhere to the Bar Council maternity leave guidelines