Policies

Objectives
Chambers’ Principal Objectives are:

  • To provide an excellent legal service to its clients.
  • To be professional, competent and sympathetic in its dealings with all clients.
  • To pursue its clients’ interests vigorously.

Quality Management
Members of Chambers comply with The Bar Standards Board Handbook and operate according to Chambers’ policies and procedures.

Equality & Diversity
Chambers is committed to equality of opportunity and to compliance with the Bar Standards Board’s Equality and Diversity Code, as well as the Handbook.

All persons coming into contact with chambers are treated on merit and are not discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, region or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

View our Equality and Diversity Policy here.

4 Brick Court’s diversity data is published in accordance with the Rules set down by the Bar Standards Board and can be viewed here.

Client Confidentiality
Briefs received into Chambers are only handled by the clerks and the barristers assigned to individual cases, sensitive items are held in a safe to which access can be gained only by the clerks.  Emails are received by the clerks in the clerks’ room and are only made available to Counsel involved in the case.

Instructing Counsel: Standard Contractual Terms
With effect from 31 January 2013 Chambers has adopted, as its terms of business, the Bar Council’s Standard Contractual Terms to govern its business relationship with instructing solicitors in privately funded cases.

Booking Counsel
When you contact 4 Brick Court to book Counsel you will be advised if the barrister of your choice has an existing commitment and whether you wish to instruct alternative Counsel. We are a chambers consisting of 37 barristers and two pupils practising exclusively in family work which means we provide depth and breadth of expertise across the spectrum of family law. The issue of continuity of Counsel is important so the selected barrister will not be changed once they have been booked unless this course of action is unavoidable and, in any event, must be agreed in advance with the professional client.

Direct Access
Barristers can now be instructed directly by members of the public. However there are still some restrictions in the type and methods of work that can be done on this basis. Not all barristers in 4 Brick Court accept work directly from members of the public.  If a member of the public wishes to progress this further, they should contact the Managing Clerk.

Briefs
It is vital to the smooth and effective handling of a case that we have sufficient time to prepare for court appearances. Many cases now require skeleton arguments to be lodged in advance of the hearing so it is therefore essential that instructions are sent giving ample time for preparation.  On our part, we shall ensure that we arrive at court at least half an hour before the scheduled start time to allow time for discussion with yourself and your client.  All papers will be read and all necessary trial documentation, including skeleton arguments, case summaries and chronologies will be prepared.  At the conclusion of the hearing, clients will be provided with an attendance note recording the terms of any orders made, negotiations conducted or concluded, within 24 hours of the court appearance.

Disaster Planning
Chambers has a plan which identifies the geographic and climatic hazards and other risks that could jeopardise operating from our building.  Risk assessment on a regular basis establishes a proper course of action, identifying resources to be used in the event of any disruption.

There are three important aspects of the plan set up by 4 Brick Court.

They are:

  • Comprehensiveness
  • Simplicity
  • Flexibility

The plan recognises that there will be some disruption to normal services, especially if power, water, and telephony and diary management services are affected.  The plan distinguishes between minor disruptions and major incidents.  Clients will be kept informed of any changes in procedure affecting them as a result of having to implement any aspect of our disaster plan.

Corporate Social Responsibility
4 Brick Court follows the guidelines set by the Bar Council in that we are making changes in the manner we operate to reflect a more socially responsible attitude to the way in which we live and work.  We see social responsibility as the voluntary actions that we can take over and above compliance with minimum legal requirements.  It is about how as a business we take account of the economic, social and environmental aspects of the way we operate- maximising the benefits and minimising the downsides.

Fees
All time spent is recorded on the Meridian System to ensure that the fees charged can be substantiated by specific work activities by the barrister. If requested, the Clerks will be able to explain how the fee was determined.

  • We will render a fee note for our work upon conclusion of the case or on request or at an appropriate stage in ongoing litigation.
  • In privately funded cases, we expect our fees to be settled within the time limits prescribed by the Bar Council.
  • We adhere to the Bar Council’s Code of Practice in respect of issue of payment reminders, progressing payment of our fees and credit control in general.
  • No member of the Bar without the consent of the Chairman of the Bar can accept instructions in a privately funded case from any solicitors firm listed under the Withdrawal of Credit Scheme.  An exception to this is if the instructions are accompanied by payment of an agreed fee for such work.

Complaints & Compliments
We aim to provide a quality service that conforms to the Practice Management Standards of the Bar Council. To achieve these standards, we rely on feedback from our clients. All comments taken are appreciated; they are recorded and complaints  are thoroughly investigated. We ask clients to address any feedback to our Managing Clerk (Clive Barrett) by telephone or preferably by email. We also have a fully documented complaints procedure available here.

How to Contact Us

By telephone: 020 7832 3200

By email: clerks@4bc.co.uk

By post: 4 Brick Court, Temple, London EC4Y 9AD

By DX: 491 London/Chancery Lane

Our office hours are 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday

In the event of an emergency outside of office hours, the Managing Clerk can be contacted on
07970 712 955