Transparency and Fees
Members of chambers can be instructed by solicitors practising in England and Wales, in-house lawyers, and law firms outside of the jurisdiction. In appropriate cases, we are also able to receive instructions directly from non-lawyers (on what is known as a “Licensed Access” basis). For more information about Licensed Access, please see the Licensed Access Recognition Regulations provided by the Bar Standards Board.
Members of chambers provide legal services in the area of family law.
Some members of chambers are authorised to accept instructions directly from the public without having to go through another lawyer on what is known as a “Public Access” basis. For more information about Public Access, please see the Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients provided by the Bar Standards Board.
The clerks are always available to discuss levels of fees and provide a quotation for legal services on request. Our fees are flexible and transparent. They will reflect the seniority of the barrister concerned, the complexity of the case and the client’s budget. For court hearings, a fixed fee will be agreed in advance. For advisory work (whether instructed to advise in writing or in conference) a disclosable hourly rate will generally be applied. The more information that the clerks are given about a matter, the easier it is to provide an estimate of advisory fees in advance; in circumstances where the instructions are available we can often estimate and agree fees before any chargeable work is undertaken. We are also often able to agree fixed fees for such work, but only in circumstances where all information about a matter is available to us.
When a fee quote is provided or a fee is agreed it will specify whether VAT is applicable.
There will be occasions when circumstances change, for example where a court hearing unexpectedly extends beyond its time-estimate significantly, more information comes to light, or instructions are amended. When this happens we will always endeavour to notify clients in advance in circumstances where this may lead to an increase in the fees to be charged.
Various factors will influence the timescales in which a barrister can complete a piece of advisory work. These include their availability, the amount of papers to be reviewed, the complexity of the case, and the need for any additional information or documents. We always seek to ensure that timescales for providing advice are adhered to but will notify the client if there is likely to be any delay and the reason for the same.
The terms on which members of chambers offer their services, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, are set out in The Standard Contractual Terms For The Supply Of Legal Services By Barristers To Authorised Persons 2012 (updated for the GDPR in 2018) as referred to in Rule rC30.9c of the BSB Handbook. You can download a full copy here.
Members of chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual. The minimum cover which barristers must have is £500,000 although many members of chambers have cover in excess of this figure. Territorial coverage is world-wide subject to the terms of cover of the Bar Mutual. Their postal address is Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited, 90 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4ST.
You can search for barristers who are authorised to practise in England and Wales here.
Members of chambers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.
Simon Calhaem Limited is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.
Information about our complaints procedure, any right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, how to complain to Legal Ombudsman and any time limits for making a complaint can be found here.
Please contact our clerking team by email or telephone 020 7404 1044 to discuss your needs in more detail and find the appropriate barrister for your case.