How to instruct us

1. Instructions to Counsel

(a) Receipt of your Instructions will be confirmed by our clerks by letter on the day of receipt (or first working day thereafter).

(b) If requested, a quotation will be given to you for the work to be done.

(c) Very urgent instructions, for example where freezing orders are to be considered, will be dealt with accordingly. In all cases, Counsel will consider your Instructions within 7 days of receipt, and where appropriate will then identify and request any further information which is required. In the event that Counsel is unable to deal with them promptly, you will be notified by telephone within this time. Transfer of the Instructions to alternative Counsel, or an extension of time, may then be agreed.

(d) In ordinary circumstances, your Instructions will be dealt with by Counsel within 14 days of receipt unless otherwise agreed.

(e) If, unavoidably, such period is likely to be exceeded, you will be contacted immediately with the reason and asked how you wish to proceed.

(f) We will treat all Instructions received in the strictest confidence and ensure that such confidence is observed at all times.

(g) Completed Instructions may initially be returned to you by email or fax, with copies to follow by post or via DX.

(h) All telephone calls which cannot be dealt with immediately (for example if Counsel is unavailable) will be returned on the same day whenever possible, and in any case at the first reasonable opportunity.

(i) Upon acceptance of Instructions to Counsel to advise in conference, we will agree a suitable date and time with you. We will ensure that Counsel has sufficient time for preparation. In appropriate cases, the amount of such time will be agreed with you and specifically allocated in Counsel’s diary.

(j) In the event that any Instructions appear to fall within the scope of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, we will require you to certify that you have carried out the customer due diligence measures in accordance with Regulations 5 and 7, and that you operate a satisfactory record-keeping procedure in accordance with Regulation 19.

2. Briefs to Counsel

(a) When a trial or other hearing in Court is booked, in all ordinary circumstances (that is, subject to emergencies) we will ensure that counsel has sufficient time for preparation. Again, in appropriate cases, the amount of time will be agreed with you and specifically allocated in Counsel’s diary.

(b) Counsel will not be “double-booked” for Court hearings by our Clerks without your knowledge. If Counsel has a prior booking, you will be informed and asked how you wish to proceed. We will suggest and hold available alternative Counsel if we are requested to do so.

(c) Upon acceptance of any booking we will take all precautions to avoid any risk that Counsel may be unable to attend.

(d) In case of illness or other unavoidable difficulty (for example where another case overruns or is listed by a higher Court in circumstances beyond our control) you will be immediately informed. Again, we will suggest and hold available alternative Counsel if we are requested to do so.

3. Service Provision to disabled clients

We wish our services to be accessible without difficulty to disabled clients. Due to the age and nature of our premises, wheelchair access may be difficult. Please notify us in advance so that appropriate arrangements can be made. For example, Members will be happy to attend conferences away from Chambers if that is more convenient.

If you or your client considers that there are additional adjustments or improvements we could make, for example to aid access, please contact our Clerks on 020 7415 7800 or email clerks@3harecourt.com.

4. Language

If your client does not have English as a first language and needs an interpreter, please contact our Clerks who will assist in making the necessary arrangements. Members of Chambers are also fluent in many languages including Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Malay, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Urdu.

5. Complaints

We operate without prejudice, to your rights to complain to the Bar Council, to the Legal Services Ombudsman, and without prejudice to your rights under general law, a Complaints Procedure. Details are available on request, please contact our Senior Clerk, James Donovan on 020 7415 7800 or email James at jdonovan@3harecourt.com.

6. Payment

Unless otherwise agreed in advance, our fee notes are to be paid promptly, and in all cases within three months.

7. Business hours

Our business hours are from 8.30am until 6.30pm during legal terms, and from 9am until 6pm during legal vacations. We will however always be contactable outside these hours, when a telephone call to Chambers will reach a message giving an alternative number. Or, you may leave a message which will be returned when Chambers opens on the following day (or on Monday after a weekend).

Download PDF version of the Service Protocol.