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Terms of work

1. Standard Contractual Terms:

Since 31st January 2013, members of Chambers have accepted instructions on the contractual Standard Terms and Conditions and subsequently amended to refer to the relevant sections of the Code of Conduct as provided by the Handbook issued by the Bar Standards Board unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing.  

Where members of Chambers accept instructions in civil (non-family) legal aid matters, such instructions will be accepted upon Chambers’ standard terms and conditions applicable to civil (non-family) legal aid matters.   A copy of the terms can be found here.

 2. Alternative contractual arrangements:

Members of Chambers may be prepared to consider two alternative terms of engagement though they are not obliged under the Cab Rank Rule to accept instructions on such terms:

(a)  An Agreement for the supply of legal services by a barrister in a commercial case – the form of agreement published jointly by COMBAR/CLLS (version 2.1).  The payment basis under the terms of the agreement will be Basis A and no other version of the Agreement will be adopted;  or

(b) Instructions may be accepted on the basis of the Bar’s former practice (formerly Annex G to the Code of Conduct, adapted to reflect the discontinuance of the Withdrawal of Credit Scheme) as applicable prior to 31st January 2013.  

In any event, an agreement under (a) or (b) above must be expressly agreed in writing;  a barrister’s clerk has authority for these purposes to enter into an agreement incorporating the alternative terms of engagement on behalf of a barrister.

In addition to agreeing to the terms of engagement either under the Contractual Standard Terms, the Agreement for supply of legal services (COMBAR/CLLS Version 2.1) or the Bar’s standard non-contractual terms as amended, any solicitor will be taken to have agreed on behalf of their firm and the client that any dispute regarding fees is be referred to the Voluntary Joint Tribunal on Barristers’ fees whose decision will be final and legally binding.

The new Standard Terms do not apply in circumstances:

  • Where the lay client is to be a party to the contract, unless the lay client is the Authorised Person; or
  • In a conditional fees agreement (“CFA”) unless the CFA specifically provides for the new Standard Terms to apply (clause 2.4.2 of the new Standard Terms); or
  • For publicly funded matters where the barrister is paid direct by the Legal Services Commission as party of the Community Legal Service or as part of the Criminal Defence Service or by the Crown Prosecution Service unless the barrister and the instructing party agree to adapt the new Standard Terms, provided that no provision of the Bar Code of Conduct is thereby infringed.

3. Additional information about instructing barristers:

  • Full information about the Code of Conduct is published on the Bar Standards Board website.
  • Guidance notes on the COMBAR/CLLS Agreement can be downloaded here.
  • Information about the Joint Tribunal Service (together with a copy of the Joint Tribunal Standing Orders) can be obtained via the Bar Council.
  • The Withdrawal of Credit Scheme was, from 31st January 2013, replaced by the scheme called “List of Defaulting Solicitors and other Authorised Persons 2012”. Information on these changes and the Rules in so far as they relate to complaints made against Authorised Persons can be accessed here.
  • A guide to the new Contractual Terms published by the Bar Council is available here
If you have any queries about members of these Chambers or other matters relating to Blackstone Chambers or this site, please contact Gary Oliver our Senior Clerk, or Julia Hornor our Chambers Director.

Licensed Access

Members of Chambers may also accept instructions via the Bar Council’s Licensed Access scheme from professionals who have been granted a licence to instruct a barrister directly.  For more information about licensed access please see the Bar Council web site.

Please contact Gary Oliver or a member of the clerking team for more information and assistance regarding instruction of members of Blackstone Chambers under the direct access scheme.

Direct public access to barristers

Currently only one member of Chambers is able to accept instructions directly from lay clients without the involvement of a solicitor or other intermediary. Any enquiries about public access instructions should be addressed to our clerks Lewis Walker or, in his absence, Gary Oliver.