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Client Care Policy


Aims and objectives


As a set of Chambers we strive to provide outstanding legal services accompanied by the highest professional standards of client care. We continually monitor our performance and conduct regular reviews of our systems and procedures to refine and improve our standards of client care. We recognise that while excellence in legal work, whether it be advocacy, drafting or advising, is our core function, this must be accompanied and supported by the highest standard of professional conduct and client care. We must ensure that the needs, concerns and interests of our clients are constantly in view, and, where necessary addressed. We take our responsibility for client care very seriously and seek to match the suggested standards of best practice in the profession.


Feedback


We are receptive to feedback which should be addressed to the Chief Clerk or the Management Committee in the first instance. We carry out formal feedback exercises for two months of each year. We ask all attendees at chambers seminars to complete feedback forms.


We welcome feedback from clients at any time. You can use our feedback form to do so. Please complete this and return by post or email to the clerks.


Fees and terms of work


At the outset of any work on a case, the client is informed as to the basis upon which the fees will be charged and the terms of the work. We use client care letters and terms of business based on the recommended models from the Bar Council or the specialist bar associations.


For most cases our fee pricing structure will be one of the following:


Brief fee and refresher


A brief fee is a fixed fee which covers preparation for a trial and the first day. A refresher is a fixed fee for each subsequent day of the trial (which includes ongoing preparation).


Capped fee


A barrister will charge an amount of money per hour (an hourly rate), which will normally be between £125 plus VAT and £350 plus VAT, depending on the experience of the barrister and the complexity of the case, but agree with the client that the total amount will not be more than a set level. The number of hours involved in relation to any piece of work will be determined by the amount of work involved (which will be influenced by factors such as the amount of paperwork relating to your case and the complexity of your case).


Conditional fee agreement


A client will only pay a barrister for work if they receive compensation as a result of the proceedings. Conditional fee agreements are popular with consumers and often referred to as “no win, no fee” agreements.


Fixed fee


A barrister will charge a client a set amount of money for work. There may also be circumstances where additional fees are charged.


We will always provide a fee quote or range of fees on request, by contacting the clerks on 020 7404 7000 or clerks@thomasmore.co.uk. In certain public access areas we provide a factsheet on our website which identifies estimates of fixed fees and the range of hourly rates – see here.


Time recording


Members of chambers will provide a time record of work undertaken in each case upon request.


Timescales and delay


Upon receipt of instructions, the client will be advised of the likely timescale within which the barrister will complete his work, upon request. In cases of urgency we will do our best to assist within the time available.


We will ensure that the client is kept fully informed of any factors which are likely to cause delay and the reasons for them. The barrister will advise the client promptly where a timescale needs to be revised.


Conflicts of interest


Where any issue of potential or existing conflict of interest between lay and professional clients (including negligence or incompetence on the part of the latter) arises, this will be promptly brought to the attention of both where appropriate.


Equal opportunities


We will ensure that the client is aware of chambers’ commitment to the development of good equal opportunity practice.


Conferences and disabled access


Chambers has a suite of conference rooms available for large and small conferences, lectures, seminars and settlement meetings. Chambers can provide access for the disabled for conferences. This can be set up with ease on notice to the clerks. Members of chambers are happy to travel to solicitors and lay clients’ premises for conferences. We routinely monitor our responsibilities to good practice and the Disability Discrimination Act.


Library facilities


Chambers maintains an extensive library of legal texts and authorities, both written and electronic, which are relevant to our practice areas. We are happy to assist our clients by providing access to that facility.


Complaints procedure


Chambers has a detailed documented complaints procedure to deal with complaints against either chambers as a whole or any individual barrister or member of staff as required by the BSB Handbook Code of Conduct section D1.1. A copy of this complaints procedure is available from the clerks upon request and on the Chambers’ website.


Chambers will ensure that all lay clients are informed of their right to make a complaint about a member of chambers instructed to represent them if they wish to do so. Agreed arrangements will be made with solicitors to ensure that, where they are prepared to do so, they agree to inform the client of this right as a standard part of their client care procedure. Where such an agreement is not in place, individual members of chambers will inform their lay clients of the right to complaint in writing - and in accordance with the requirements of the Bar Standards Board.


The notification given to clients will inform them of the existence of our chambers complaints procedure and the fact that it can be found on the Chambers’ website.


Review


This policy has been reviewed in January 2020 and will be reviewed every two years.


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Phone: +44 (0) 20 7404 7000 |

Email: clerks@thomasmore.co.uk

Client Care Policy |

Privacy Policy |

Complaints |

Conditional Fee Agreements

© Thomas More Chambers 2021