Information for clients
For information about Chambers’ policies and procedures please see below. Please get in touch if you have any questions about how members work with clients or how Chambers is managed and run that are not answered below.
Atkin Chambers is committed to providing an excellent and transparent service, and it values feedback in relation to the quality of the members’ legal work and the levels of service. If you would like to provide such feedback, please contact chief executive and director of clerking, David Barnes, or senior clerk, Justin Wilson.
Atkin Chambers has adopted the Bar Council’s Standard Contractual terms and/or the Combar/CLLS terms as the basis for terms for all new instructions. The terms are adapted for individual cases.
Fees and costs
The practice management team provides members’ clients with clear and transparent estimates of fees and timetables for completing work and, when necessary, will quickly identify appropriate solutions and fee structures.
This may include hourly rates or fixed fees depending on the nature of the matter and the requirements of the client. There are various factors which may influence the timescales of a case, such as barristers’ availability, the complexity, size and type of legal matter, the approach taken by the other side, and court actions, availability and waiting times.
Unless otherwise agreed fees will be reviewed annually.
Any expenses incurred in respect of a particular matter will be charged in addition to the agreed fees.
Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added where applicable. Barristers at Atkin Chambers are registered for VAT, the clerks will provide VAT number(s) on request.
Atkin Chambers’ confidentiality procedure comprises of guidelines which are for use in circumstances where two or more members of Atkin Chambers are instructed on different sides of the same matter. The guidelines are designed to ensure and demonstrate that confidential information within Atkin Chambers will remain confidential when such circumstances occur.
Please click here to view Atkin Chambers’ Confidentiality Procedure.
All members of Atkin Chambers are self-employed barristers in independent practice. Whilst Chambers staff provide services to all members of Chambers, they do not have the authority to share any confidential information that they hold in relation to the practice of one member of Chambers with another member of Chambers, or with any third-party who may be making enquiries in relation to another member of Chambers. Nor do members of Chambers share such confidential information with each other.
In the circumstances, whilst each member of Chambers can provide information in relation to their own practice, neither Chambers staff nor any member of Chambers can obtain or provide confidential information about the practice of another member of Chambers.
It is therefore not possible for a member to provide information, for example, as to whether another member of Chambers has acted for or advised (whether currently or in the past) any party or related party, save in so far as that the information is already in the public domain.
Door tenants are similarly independent, self-employed practitioners and the above protocols apply equally to information about their practices.
Regulation of barristers
Members of Atkin Chambers are self-employed, independent practitioners who share premises and administration. The barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
All barristers at Atkin Chambers are listed on the BSB’s Barristers’ Register page. This is an online database which displays details of all barristers authorised to practice in England and Wales. It includes information about barristers’ practising status, their practising address, the reserved legal activities they are authorised to undertake and whether they have been the subject of any disciplinary findings. Atkin Chambers and its members (barristers) are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), this is an independent authority in the UK that promotes openness of official information and protection of private information.
Professional indemnity insurance
Every barrister must have professional indemnity insurance and this is provided by Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) which provides worldwide cover for individual barristers. Bar Mutual was set up by barristers for barristers and is not a commercial insurance company. They can be contacted through Thomas Miller, which manages Bar Mutual at:
90 Fenchurch Street
Telephone: 020 7621 0405
How to make a complaint
It is members and staff’s intention to provide clients with an excellent service at all times and Chambers hopes that you will not have to make a complaint. However, if you have a problem, we hope that you would feel able to talk to the individual(s) concerned directly and immediately, or able to contact the senior clerk Justin Wilson to discuss your problem. If you do wish to make a complaint you are free to do so in writing or via telephone to the Chief Executive and Director of Clerking, David Barnes. Chambers will investigate your complaint and reply to you within 28 days.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of Chambers’ investigation, you may take up your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), the independent complaints body for complaints about lawyers. The LeO is not able to consider your complaint until it has first been investigated by Chambers.
You can write to the Ombudsman at:
PO Box 6806
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Please note that the LeO has a time limit for investigating complaints. You must complain to the LeO either within six years of your barrister’s actions/failure to act, or no later than three years after you should reasonably have known there were grounds to complain. You must also complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving your barrister’s final response to your complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman publishes data on all complaints that have been resolved by an ombudsman’s final decision. To view the decision data, please click here.