• Legal representation

  • Direct Access Barrister

  • Expert Legal help

AWC Legal – working with you every step of the way

AWC Legal offer a Bespoke Legal Service Direct to National and International Private Clients 

TERMS OF BUSINESS

Alessandra Williams Chambers (AWC) provides this information in accordance with its obligations under the Provision of Services Regulations 2009. It includes important information as to its terms of business and the Bar Standards Board rules which were updated and came into force on 1 July 2019.

Our Regulator

Every member of Chambers is an individual self-employed barrister and each is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.  The BSB website includes the Code of Conduct which regulates the professional behaviour and standards of all barristers. Individual members of Chambers are all members of the Bar Council of England and Wales, an organisation which provides representation, support and services for barristers.  A register of current barristers can be found on the BSB Barristers' Register.

Main Features of our Barrister Service and the Price

1. Standard terms with solicitors

Our standard published terms of business are the contractual terms of business set out in Annexe T to the Code of Conduct.  These new terms can be found here.(link to Annex T)

We are seeking to agree generic terms of business with firms of solicitors for whom we provide regular services.  It is a breach of the Code of Conduct for a barrister to refuse to accept instructions to be undertaken in accordance with our published standard terms of business (i.e. the terms to be found at Annexe T or our other standard terms below). 

Public funding/Legal Aid

AWC only accept Legal Aid instructions from solicitors.  Instructions from other clients are only accepted if paying privately.  Unfortuantely AWC does not accept instructions from clients who are publically funded or funded by Legal Aid.

2. Standard terms with other clients

Direct Public Access

You will find our standard public access agreement here (letter)

If you are not a solicitor, Chambers’ will provide services to you under our standard Public Access agreement, if you are a member of the public please read our Public Access Guidance, click here  (Public Access guidance) to gain a more comprehensive description of the scheme and to assist you in deciding whether your case is suitable.

3. Transparency Statement

AWC are able to provide fee estimates and will quote on a fixed fee or hourly rate basis dependant on the requirements of those instructing.  For the avoidance of doubt, our hourly rate starts at £250.00. 

AWC will also keep you updated on timescales and changes (outside of Chambers control) which may have an effect on your case.

Genrally from the moment you contact us by phone or email we will respond to you within 24 hours.  We will then give you a timeframe to provide us with the information we need to assess your case and to give you a fee.  Only when you have provided us with the information we require will we be able to (a) advise if we can take on your case, dependent on the Barristers’ availability and competency, which is assessed from the instructions you give us and your hearing date (if you have one); and (b) the fee for carrying out the work which will be calculated on a fixed rate basis or an hourly rate.

AWC is fully committed to transparency in relation to fees and we normally calculate them by reference to the amount of time required and a commercial hourly rate applicable to the relevant Barrister. In addition to this calculation AWC will consider the nature of the case including its complexity before quoting a fee.  

Our fees are flexible and competitive, the hourly rates may vary as a result of the experience and seniority of your Barrister as well as its urgency and complexity.

When the case has been accepted and allocated to a Barrister, we will review the case and assess the matter to ensure that no further information is required. This assessment process may affect the standard turnaround time and the fee but the fee will be confirmed at this point. If you then agree to the work being undertaken, we will ask you to sign a Client Care Letter and you will be committed to pay the fee.

Please be aware that in the majority of cases the fee being quoted will be a net figure.  VAT may need to be added, you will be advised at the time the fee is given if the Barrister you are instructing is VAT registered.

4. Complaints

In the first instance, complaints are dealt with by our own internal process. Full details of our complaints procedure can be found here.(add complaints procedure).

You may complain up to 6 years from the date of the incident however, you should lodge a complaint at the earliest opportunity.

If you are a client and do not accept our findings of the complaint, you may refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

The Legal Ombudsman records data of the complaints it has investigated. That data can be found here: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/

If you are not a client and do not accept our findings of the complaint, you may refer the matter to the Bar Standards Board. A  link to their website can be found here: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/complaints-and-professional-conduct/

The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service investigate complaints made to the Bar Standards Board. Details of findings and sanctions can be found here:  https://www.tbtas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/hearings/4546/Approved-REport-of-Finding-and-Sanction-Wheaton.pdf

Download the full Bar terms and conditions here (.pdf)