Price Transparency Policy Statement
Barristers provide legal advice and representation on a wide range of areas over many different court jurisdictions. We accept instructions from Solicitors, known as referral work; professional and lay clients, under the Public Access Scheme and licenced access clients.
In order for us to accept instructions via licensed access, the client must either hold a licence issued by us or be a member of a body specified in the Schedules to the Licensed Access Recognition Regulations shown below.
Please refer to the BSB Handbook for rules and guidance for barristers undertaking licensed access work.
Authorised licensed access clients are those persons and organisations and/or their members and/or their or their members’ employees (as the case may be) who have from time to time been approved as such by the Bar Standards Board.
Any person or organisation wishing to be approved as an authorised licensed access client shall apply in writing to the Bar Standards Board by completing an application form in such form and supplying such other information as the Bar Standards Board may from time to time or in any particular case require.
St Pauls Chambers is made up of a group of self-employed barristers, all regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Each barrister has been called to the Bar at different times and therefore the number of years experience of that barrister is determined by their call date. Some barristers are referred to as Queen’s Counsel or Silk. They are appointed by letters patent to be one of Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law. The general rule of thumb would be, the more senior the barrister, the higher the fee.
There are various methods of funding legal advice and representation. For criminal work we generally claim our fees from the Legal Aid Agency because most clients facing the prospect of criminal prosecution will be entitled to legal aid with or without contributions.
For some civil matters we will consider a Conditional Fee Agreement. This is a legal funding arrangement where you only pay for your lawyers work on the condition that your case is won and you receive damages. So if your claim is unsuccessful you’re not left with a bill for legal work. It should be noted that we do not provide this option for clients under the Public Access Scheme.
Privately funded cases
Some clients choose to instruct our barristers on a privately-funded basis. In these circumstances the clerks will provide a fee on the ‘brief’ (considered the first day of trial and to include the trial preparation) and the ‘refresher’ fees (considered the days that run each day after the brief fee). The fees are calculated based on the size of the papers that are to be prepared, the length of the hearing, the nature of the hearing and the seniority of the barrister. Requests for quotes involving public access clients will be managed in the same way but consideration will be given to the need for clients to be given as much information as possible at an early stage as it is accepted that these clients may wish to ‘shop around’.
Private fees can be provided on a fixed-fee basis or an hourly rate basis. Each barrister will have different hourly rates, commensurate with their experience and their specialist area of law.
Private fees for non-criminal work will be determined by the estimate of time to be taken on the barrister’s hourly rate. Under the Public Access Scheme we anticipate that clients may want to have some certainty about fees and in these circumstances the clerks will gather as much information as is required to provide a fixed fee quote. Under the Public Access Scheme we often stage the agreement to a defined piece of work or attendance at court. We are not permitted to accept retainers and we do not have a client account, therefore the quotes we provide under the scheme are specific to the piece of work to be completed. As a general rule, we require clients to make the necessary payment of fees in advance of the work to be undertaken.
While quotations will be binding, if the scope of the legal services changes, then the quotation will no longer be binding. It should also be noted that providing a quotation does not amount to the acceptance of instructions.
Public Access Services subject to price transparency requirements
The Bar Standards Board has determined the following Public Access services should be subject to price transparency requirements:
- Employment Tribunal Cases
- Financial disputes arising out of divorce (joint assets lees than £300,000)
- Immigration appeals (First-tier Tribunal)
- Inheritance Act advices
- Licensing applications in relation to business premises
- Personal injury claims
- Summary only motoring offences
- Winding-up petitions
For the areas of law listed above we have provided a link to our Chambers Price Transparency Information which provides some guidance on what fees you can expect to pay for certain areas of law
It is our aim to provide understandable quotations within a reasonable time period. The test for ‘sufficient information being provided’ is whether the consumer has provided sufficient information such that we can quote a meaningful range for the legal services in question. It is our aim to quote a meaningful range within a reasonable time period.
We encourage all prospective clients to engage in communication with the clerks in the first instance. This can be done via email [email protected] or by telephone 01132455866.