Sunday, May 15, 2016

Fees and Terms of Practice

1. Criminal 
Fees are at standard Legal Aid rates unless the case is private in which case it is negotiable.  My standard private hourly rate is £200/hr.  All Criminal matters are deemed to be agreed under the General Council of the Bar's "Standard Conditions of Contract for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012" unless specifically stated otherwise in writing.

2. Employment/Civil
 Fees are negotiable and dependent on my case assessment, mode of payment (private, insurance, union, etc) and client's means. I do consider some cases for Conditional Fees on a case by case basis provided I get the brief for assessment sufficiently in advance (see pro forma CFA agreement - please note this does not constitute an offer). I would like to aim at the situation where I get a case at the earliest opportunity and provide an advice and interlocutory applications for a fee with the main hearing fee agreement being determined once that has been done.  I generally try to do it in stages as follows:

1.        Each stage will be subject to a separate agreement unless explicitly agreed to in writing.

2.        The general stages of a case are (subject to individual cases) :

(1)          Initial meeting including getting basic details, case assessment and agreement/contract;
(2)          Advice and drafting of initial case up to and including issue of proceedings (including settlement offers/negotiations);
(3)         Conduct (where conduct includes preparation and advice) of interlocutory stages (though interlocutory hearings will gnerally be covered by a separate agreement for each hearing), through to appearance at, and conduct of, the main hearing;

(4)          Advice on and/or appearance and conduct of any appeal or hearing after the main hearing (e.g. disposal, enforcement, costs, etc).

3.        This sample agreement only covers Stages 1 and 2 and specifically the following work for which the fees set out below apply:
(1)          Initial Meeting and drafting Appeal grounds;
(2)          Advice on internal disciplinary Appeal and grievance procedure;
(3)          Drafting of documents in connections with internal disciplinary Appeal and grievance procedure;
(4)          Drafting of Prohibited Conduct Questionnaire;
(5)          Drafting settlement agreements;
(6)          Negotiating and communicating with Respondent’s solicitors with a view to settlement and/or advising the client on such negotiations;
4.     This sample agreement does not cover representation for any other work, hearings or meetings.  Any other hearings will only be represented if payment is received in advance as per the scale in Appendix 3.  Any other work or hearings must be covered by a separate agreement or written variation signed by both parties of this agreement.



I aim at the following in terms of my relationships with my clients, whether instructing solicitors ("IS") or members of the public through direct access, though please note that if a client is actually present at a hearing then I would generally only have a verbal debrief after the hearing. I prefer to work with both from an early stage in the case so that there is a common thread of preparation from the beginning to the final hearing (and have done so throughtout my career at the Bar) and subject to availability try to do all Court/Tribunal appearances myself for the same reasons (and find it assists with the final outcomes).

I will let regular IS know my diary on a regular basis so they can plan cases and to try to hold myself open for specific hearings in specific cases.
Other solicitors I will try to notify of potential clashes in sufficient time for them to determine what they wish to do. Enquiries can be made at any time as to my availability by either mobile phone or e-mail.


Outside court hours the easiest way to contact me is on my mobile if it is urgent, though if advice is sought on specific matters or cases it is best to send an e-mail as I will then be able to have all the materials at hand to answer any particular question. I try to reply to all e-mails within 24 hours in accordance with Bar Council guidelines save when on holiday.