Structure of Chambers
4 Pump Court is not a law firm. Its individual barrister members (whether junior counsel or Queen’s Counsel) do not practise as partners or work as employees. The barristers that work from 4 Pump Court are all self-employed and work separately. Indeed, (as in all specialist sets) individual barristers within 4 Pump Court are commonly retained by opposing sides in the same dispute, both in litigation and arbitration. As well as acting on opposing sides, individuals regularly appear in front of other members of chambers acting as Deputy Judges or Arbitrators. Members of chambers may be instructed individually or in a team to provide a wide range and level of expertise in both contentious and non-contentious work.
We recognise the absolute importance of client confidentiality and both our barristers and staff understand that they have a duty to keep the affairs of each client confidential. We have a protocol to safeguard confidentiality within chambers, especially where members of chambers represent conflicting interests.
Professional indemnity insurance
All practising barristers in these chambers maintain (as a minimum) professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, managed by the Bar Mutual Management Company, 90 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4ST. Territorial coverage is worldwide, subject to the terms of cover of the Bar Mutual, which may be accessed at www.barmutual.co.uk. Barristers may choose to take additional top up insurance cover depending on their practise requirements. Where a barrister’s liability might exceed their usual professional indemnity cover, parties may agree in writing that the barrister’s liability should be subject to a cap.
Terms of work
When instructed by a solicitor, barristers at 4 Pump Court carry out services on 4 Pump Court terms, unless otherwise agreed in writing. The 4 Pump Court terms are available to download here.
Barristers at 4 Pump Court welcome instructions from accountants, surveyors and the many other professions and bodies entitled to instruct the Bar under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.
Direct Public Access
Some of the barristers at 4 Pump Court accept instructions direct from a company, an association or an individual under the direct public access scheme. None of our barristers are authorised to conduct litigation which means that there are some things that a barrister cannot do on your behalf. Please see the direct public access section under “Our Work” for more information and for the contact details of our trained public access clerks. Click here to view the Bar Standards Board Public Access guidance for the public.
The work we do
Please see under “Our Work” for a description of the areas of work in which barristers at 4 Pump Court most commonly provide legal services.
Charging for barristers services
The clerks are the first point of contact for any discussion in relation to fees or quotations and their contact details can be found under “Administration”.
We are anxious that our clients understand the rationale behind the fees charged and are satisfied with the value of the work done. Fees for most work are based on the agreed hourly rate and the time spent. In some circumstances we are prepared to agree fixed or capped fees. Individual barristers will also consider working on a conditional fee agreement or undertaking work which is funded by litigation funders. In relation to a hearing, a brief fee to cover the pre-hearing preparation is usually agreed with a daily rate for each day of the hearing. Each barrister is VAT registered and VAT will be charged where appropriate.
In addition to professional fees we charge the costs in relation to all reasonable disbursements incurred on a matter. These disbursed costs could include travelling expenses, accommodation, couriers, photocopying, printing and other incidental expenses. VAT is added where applicable.
In relation to Direct Public Access the fees will usually be based on a fixed fee for identified work which is payable in advance of commencing the work. We appreciate that all clients, whether professional, licensed access and / or lay clients need to budget for the likely cost of a particular item of work or of long running litigation. Once sufficient information is available, the clerks can be contacted to provide a quotation. The quotation will be provided as promptly as possible, and in clear and readily understandable terms. We use costs budgeting functionality within our fee system to ensure that costs stay within any agreed case budget.
Time scales for the provision of work
The time scale within which a barrister will be able to provide work required will vary depending on such factors as availability, the complexity of the case, the volume of documentation and the need for additional documents or information. The barrister will supply the services by or on such dates as may be agreed with the solicitor or client or where no specific date has been agreed within a reasonable time having regard to the urgency and nature of the services.
We welcome feedback from solicitors and lay clients. Complaints are taken very seriously and will always be given priority. They will be dealt with in accordance with our complaints procedure. To view or download a copy of the 4 Pump Court complaints procedure please click here.