Service Standards – Including quotes for legal services
In 2018 the Bar Standards Board (BSB) commenced a consultation process in response to the Competition and Market Authority regarding Transparency relating to how barristers and Chambers calculate their fees. From January 2020 it is mandatory that all Chambers provide this information clearly on their website.
The following information which we hope is helpful meets the required criteria set by the BSB. Should there be any questions in relation to the following please do not hesitate to contact Chambers by either telephoning 0161 214 6000 and ask to speak to one of the clerks or email email@example.com any query you may have.
Fee Model Transparency Including Quotes
Professional, licensed access and lay Clients can contact us to obtain a quotation for legal services.
Once the form has been completed and sent to Chambers you should expect to receive a quote within 48 hours. If your enquiry is more urgent please let us know.
Most prices for the legal services we provide are calculated with the following determining factors:
- Level of seniority of barristers instructed
- The amount of preparation required
- The nature of the work involved e.g. advice or court attendance/higher Courts
- Value of the case
- Any novel or unusual areas of law involved
- Where the Court case is listed in case it involved significant travel
Guidance re the above factors for calculating fees
Clerks – In the following information you will read that often the process of agreeing fees involves ‘clerks.’ Barrister’s clerks are employed by a Chambers to assist with many of the administrative duties involved in the operation of a barristers Chambers and the managing of individual workloads and diaries to ensure they meet the expectations of Clients. One of their roles is to agree fees for items of work on behalf of the barrister a Client wishes to instruct.
This will involve reading the online form that Clients can complete or by the clerks asking certain questions outlined in the details of determining factors in order to provide an accurate price quote, timescale and answer any other queries Clients may have. Clerks are not legally qualified to provide any legal advice but will always try to be helpful to find solutions to Clients legal issues and requirements.
Seniority – As a general rule the more senior the barrister the more experience they have which will usually attract a higher hourly/daily rate.Across the various specialities Chambers has to offer these can widely differ so our preference is to quote once we know more about the specific circumstances of a case and what is required.
Amount of Preparation – As you would expect this affects the price for a piece of work. Generally if you send a barrister documents to read they need to consider each document sent to them as they are duty bound to do so by their professional body that regulates them. If a barrister only has 100 pages of documents to read on a case it will obviously take less time than if they need to read 10,000 pages. The clerks can provide an estimate on costs and time spent on a case will often be an important piece of information to accurately provide a quote for the services our barristers can provide.
Nature of work – advice or Court appearance – Again these differ massively and details can be dealt with on a case by case basis. A short advice on one issue with minimum paperwork is likely to be far cheaper than a Client who requires a barrister to represent them at a hearing that might be listed for a day or much longer.
Value of the case – The Court will often apply a test of reasonableness and proportionality to a case. For instance, usually if a case is only worth a modest amount we would generally recommend someone more junior in Chambers than a case that is worth a significant amount where we might recommend someone more senior.
That is not to say on a modest case a Client could not choose someone more senior. That is any Clients choice but the clerks will always try to match a combination of the value of the case to the importance to the Client and any budgetary concerns there may be.
Novel/Unusual areas of law/the Higher Courts – Chambers have barristers with specialist knowledge of the areas of work we provide legal services. These are set out at clearly here. Whilst uncommon there are cases that sometimes give rise to an unusual or novel point of law. This would have a resulting increase in the amount of preparation and legal research barristers need to undertake. The reasons the case is unusual might often be already known to the Client but otherwise we would explain the reasons. This might be by the clerk or more likely the barrister reviewing the legal issue so that Clients can decide whether or not to proceed with their case.
We recognise that Clients may want to fight a case on a point of principle. These are often very important to Clients and whilst some cases might only be worth a modest amount in terms of monetary value they may be of the utmost importance to a Client and we will do all we can to help.
Geography of Case – Deans Court Chambers are based in Manchester and Preston and do not generally charge for travel within a 30 mile radius. We routinely cover cases nationally where we can incorporate travel into the fees quoted or itemise them separately if this is the Client preference.
Fixed fees and hourly rates – Chambers operates fixed fees with some Clients. These usually develop when a bulk purchaser of legal services has numerous similar cases which would include the legal issues, value and paperwork so it provides a base of costings to more easily provide fixed fees than one off cases.
Hourly rates are helpful to provide a quote on fees and can be different depending on the value, nature of case, seniority of Counsel and area of specialist work.
Areas we commonly provide legal services – A complete list of members of Chambers and services we offer can be found on our website which provides further detailed information about our barristers and their areas of specialisms that they provide expert advocacy services.
Instructions we can accept – The vast majority of barristers can only be instructed through a solicitor. If you have a case and do not have a solicitor we can often make a few recommendations based on the particular circumstances of your case. If you would like a solicitor to be recommended please use our enquiry form and set out what you need.
We have some barristers who act on a ‘public access’ basis. This means a member of the public can instruct them directly without a solicitor being involved. More information on this is provided below. They can accept work in the following areas:
- Commercial litigation
- Criminal, regulatory and professional discipline
Details of our barristers who accept instructions directly from the public can be found here.
Our public access enquiry form can be downloaded here.
There might be occasions when the public access accredited barrister will recommend your case will benefit from the assistance of a solicitor particularly if the case is likely to involve significant amounts of litigation and lodging of Court documents. Barrister’s diaries are often busy and this can affect their ability to be able to respond immediately to communications with other parties involved in the legal proceedings and the assistance of a solicitor is both helpful and sensible.
Timescales – Once we are informed about your legal requirements and circumstances we can advise in relation to timescale. This can be dependent upon the particular circumstances of your case. For instance, if you have been provided with a Court date you might need to undertake certain work to be ready for that date or provide the Court with a response to their request. It is important to inform Chambers of such matters to confirm they can undertake the work within the required timeframe.
If we are being asked to provide an advice on a case we would usually let you know when you could expect the work to be completed to confirm if the timescale is acceptable to the Client once you have provided the necessary documentation to us to assist.
The clerks will usually be able to factor in such issues as current workloads and diary commitments together with any holiday commitments the barrister may have booked. There might be times when something unexpected happens e.g. illness, which could cause a delay in the timescale of providing the Client with a piece of work. In such circumstances the clerk would contact you to advise you of the position in order to assess whether the case would benefit from being passed to someone of similar experience or to explain that the work required will be slightly delayed due to unforeseen circumstances to keep the Client informed of progress.
Complaints – Whilst we always strive to meet the expectations of our Clients and provide outstanding service at all times we realise that often in litigation and when dealing with what can be personal and emotive issues cases may not proceed or conclude as Clients had hoped. If any Client wishes to make a complaint about any aspect of our services they should feel free to do so. The following link details our complaints procedure as well as information on how to contact the Legal Ombudsman: https://deanscourt.co.uk/service-standards/complaints
Link to the decision data on the Legal Ombudsman’s website:
Link to the Barristers Register page on the BSB website
Feedback – We pride ourselves on the service we provide and value any feedback from our Clients as we are always seeking ways to improve. Please feel free to email our Senior Clerk, Matthew Gibbons on firstname.lastname@example.org, as he greatly appreciates listening to Clients about our services and whether we have met their expectations.