Bar Standards Board Transparency Rules

 

Bar Standards Board Transparency Rules

In 2019, the regulatory body for barristers, the Bar Standards Board, introduced mandatory rules on price, service and redress transparency for all self-employed barristers and chambers. The barristers and chambers must provide information about price, service and redress on all their websites and to consumers on request. The mandatory rules require me to:

1. State that professional, licensed access and/or lay clients (as appropriate) may contact me to obtain a quotation for legal services

I confirm that professional, licensed access and/or lay clients (as appropriate) may contact me to obtain a quotation for legal services

2. Provide contact details:

The contact details for me are tom@tom-bradford.com and my telephone number is and you can write to me at my Chambers address at Tom Bradford, 1 Iveagh Road, Guildford, GU27PU.

3. State an individual barrister’s, chambers’ or BSB entity’s most commonly used pricing models:

a. I will at all times abide by the Bar Code of Conduct when dealing with clients, both lay and professional.

b. I will adhere at all times to the equality policy published under the ‘Legal Notices’ page on this website, when dealing with clients, both lay and professional, colleagues, suppliers and others.

c. All work carried out for clients will be on the basis of the written instructions received.

d. I am willing to consider a variety of contractual arrangements. The ‘Standard Conditions of Contract for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012’ will apply to all instructions received after the 30th of January 2013, for new work and cases in which I have previously appeared, unless alternative terms of work are specifically agreed in writing (you can read more about these terms on the Bar Council’s website). I will also accept work on the basis of the ComBar agreement and several other standard contractual terms that are common for barristers.

e. Subject to availability and my availability to accept an instruction, I accept cases on fixed fee payment terms. Fees can be fixed where I am being asked to carry out a specific instruction or job. I am happy to provide a fixed fee quote for any case on request. My hourly rate is £300 per hour but I often quote on a fixed fee basis once the parameters of the project are clear. I do not conduct immigration appeals and my immigration work on a public access basis is advisory only. For immigration appeals and court cases it will be appropriate for you to work with a solicitors firm.

f. I expect all professional clients to advise me immediately of any change of circumstances or amendment to the instructions already given.

g. In providing my expertise I aim to set and adhere to timelines so as to give clients certainty. Factors which determine how long it will take to deliver the services you require include: my availability; your availability or the availability of relevant third parties; the complexity of the matter on which I am advising, the amount of papers I need to review; and the need for additional information or documents.

h. Where I am unable to carry out the work I may, with your agreement, be referred to another barrister or solicitor.

i. I am authorised to practise by the Bar Standards Board and appear on the Barristers’ Register.

Where you are unsure about pricing, please feel free to speak to me for an indication of the best available pricing model to suit your personal circumstances.

4. State the areas of practice in which an individual barrister, chambers or BSB entity most commonly provides legal services:

I practice in immigration, public, administrative and regulatory law.

5. State and provide a description of the barrister’s, chambers’ or BSB entity’s most commonly provided legal services:

My most commonly provided services are in relation to immigration law assisting entrepreneurs to set up their businesses in the UK. During the course of my career I have also advised extensively on public, administrative, regulatory and immigration law matters.

6. Provide information about the factors which might influence the timescales of the barrister’s, chambers’ or BSB entity’s most commonly provided legal services:

In providing my expertise I aim to set and adhere to timelines so as to give clients certainty. Factors which determine how long it will take to deliver the services you require include: my availability; your availability or the availability of relevant third parties; the complexity of the matter on which I am advising, the amount of papers I need to review; and the need for additional information or documents.

7. Display “regulated by the Bar Standards Board”, on the homepage of the website.

I am proud of my regulated status. This ensures my clients that they are using a barrister. The text “I am regulated by the Bar Standards Board” can be seen at the bottom of each page of this website.

8. Display information about the complaints procedure, any right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), how to complain to the LeO, and any time limits for making a complaint:

If you ever have any concerns about the service you are receiving from me the best way to resolve it early is to send an email to tom@tom-bradford.com and I will get back to you within 48 hours with some assistance and, hopefully, a resolution. In the first instance I hope that any concerns raised can be dealt with directly by me through open and responsive communication. Although I hope my clients never have cause to use it, I also have a very simple and thorough complaints procedure in place to ensure that any concerns get dealt with quickly and appropriately. The procedure is as follows:

a. If a quick email won’t help you resolve your concerns then it is likely that you have what I call “a substantive complaint”.

b. A substantive complaint is one which is about a matter which covers negligence, incompetence or a significant shortfall in the level of service my clients are entitled to expect. It may be in writing, by email, by fax or by telephone. The address for complaints is: Complaints, Tom Bradford, 483 Green Lanes, London, N13 4BS 

c. All complaints will be acknowledged, preferably in writing, within 72 hours of receipt.

d. You will also be advised when a full reply will follow, which should usually be within 28 days.

In resolving each complaint, the matter will be reviewed to assess the need for:-

Appropriate redress: as a compensatory/goodwill measure for the client

Remedial Action: where the problem is not beyond correcting

Improvement Action: to look at the root cause of the problem and implement changes to prevent the problem from recurring.

I ask that complaints be made within 12 months of the incident from which the complaint arises. This is necessary because I do not retain the papers on a case, returning them to the instructing solicitor on completion of the case. Investigating complaints without the relevant files is a difficult process. If a complaint is being made outside of this timescale complainants are asked to explain why there has been such delay. I retain the right to refuse complaints that are more than 12 months old without any explanation for that delay.

The existence of this procedure does not prohibit me from turning aside unjustified complaints.

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint following investigation, or if their complaint has not been dealt within eight weeks, they have a right to refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will only consider complaints that have already been referred to me and that have received an unsatisfactory response or outcome from me. The office of the Ombudsman can be contacted on 0300 555 0333 or you can write to: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. Visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk for further information. Clients who have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman are individuals, small businesses and charities. You can find the full list of who is available to complain to the Legal Ombudsman here. The Legal Ombudsman’s decision data can be found here. This shows providers which received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months.

If you have any questions about this process please feel free to email me at tom@tom-bradford.com

9. Link to the Barristers’ Register page on our website.

A link to the barrister register can be found at the bottom of my Terms of Business in the ‘Legal Notices’ page on this website and by clicking here:-https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/search-a-barristers-record/the-barristers-register.html 

Additional transparency rules for Public Access work

The following Public Access services are subject to price transparency requirements from July 2019:

  • Immigration appeals (First-tier Tribunal)

I confirm that I do not conduct immigration appeals (First-tier Tribunal) and so these additional requirements are not applicable.

For the avoidance of doubt, I also do not conduct:

  • Employment Tribunal cases (advice and representation for employers and employees)
  • Financial disputes arising out of divorce 2
  • Inheritance Act advices
  • Licensing applications in relation to business premises
  • Personal injury claims
  • Summary only motoring offences (advice and representation for defendants)
  • Winding-up petitions
  • You can find out more about my Public Access work under ‘Legal Notices and Policies’, which is linked on every page of this website and also immediately below on this webpage.

I am registered to undertake public access work. A full explanation of what Public Access is, the relevant stages and what to expect, including links to relevant information, can be found below. You will also find a link to the Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients on the BSB’s website. This can also be accessed here:https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/finding-and-using-a-barrister/how-to-instruct-a-barrister/public-access-guidance-for-lay-clients.html I am undertake work on a fixed fee basis for specific, identified work. This will be discussed with you in advance to reach a suitable agreement as to what is most appropriate in your specific circumstances. The agreement will be stated in a written contract. Any additional costs will be set out in an agreement and included in advance. My hourly rate is £300 per hour but I often quote on a fixed fee basis once the parameters of the project are clear. I do not conduct immigration appeals and my immigration work on a public access basis is advisory only. For immigration appeals and court cases it will be appropriate for you to work with a solicitors firm.

Public Access work

What is Public Access?

The Public Access Rules came into force in July 2004 and you are now able, in many circumstances, to instruct a barrister directly to advise you. Public Access accredited barristers still receive instructions from solicitors’ firms and are also able to assist you in deciding whether or not your case requires a solicitor. Where your case does not require a solicitor, a public access barrister may be able to represent you directly, however, I only take advisory matters in my public access practice, so if you require representation or any court or tribunal case, then it is likely to be more appropriate for you to contact a solicitor. 

What type of work can I carry out as a Public Access Barrister?

Where appropriate and subject to capacity, I can receive instructions as a Public Access Barrister in the following areas of law:

  • Immigration and nationality law
  • Public and administrative law
  • Regulatory law including professional disciplinary law

What will it cost?

The cost of a public access case will depend on a number of factors. They include:

  • The volume of documents
  • The tasks you need me to carry out
  • Complexity of the matter
  • The time it takes to prepare
  • Any novel points of law or additional research

If I am able to act for you on a Public Access matter, then I will always provide you with a clear pricing structure for handling your case. My hourly rate is £300 per hour but I often quote on a fixed fee basis once the parameters of the project are clear. I do not conduct immigration appeals and my immigration work on a public access basis is advisory only. For immigration appeals and court cases it will be appropriate for you to work with a solicitors firm.

What legal services can a public access barrister provide? There is a range of work that a public access barrister can provide, but in my capacity as a public access barrister I only can provide: 

  • Advisory work – advice on your matter and what steps you need to take.
  • Drafting – a barrister can draft legal documents, orders, letters, contracts.

Useful links:

 

 

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