Clerking and Administration
Lizzy Stewart is the senior clerk. She heads the clerking and administration of Chambers. Each clerk with an assistant looks after a number of barristers. This focus on a defined group of barristers enables each clerk to manage effectively the caseload of each barrister, closely monitoring deadlines and ensuring the high quality of all aspects of the service provided to clients.
The clerks accept instructions on behalf of barristers to advise or to represent clients as is necessary. They have a detailed knowledge of each barrister's practice and are able to recommend both individual barristers and teams who are best suited to deal with a particular case. They also provide, with the assistant, the administrative back up, in respect of the work done by the individual barristers.
Where paperwork delays are anticipated or become unavoidable, the clerks will always contact our instructing solicitors in good time and, in appropriate cases and with the client's agreement, will make arrangements to switch the papers to suitable counsel able to comply with the instructing solicitor's or client's timetable.
Clerks should be contacted to arrange conferences and consultations. Chambers can provide rooms for both mediations and arbitrations as well as being able to accommodate large meetings. Video and telephone conference facilities are available.
One of the most important jobs done by the clerks is the booking arrangements for trials and hearings in Court and for arbitrations and mediations. The management of each barrister's commitments both to Court hearings and to other work is crucial in the effective management of any case and the service that the barrister is then able to provide. In order to facilitate this, the clerks have close relationships with the staff in all divisions of the High Court. The clerks will always do their best to agree the most convenient date for a hearing. Double booking is only made with the knowledge and agreement of clients.
Clerks will quote hourly rates for individual barristers. If requested, they will also agree fees in advance for work once papers have been received and an accurate estimate of the time required to do the work can be made. The complexity and importance of cases varies and the clerks bear this in mind when suggesting fees for particular cases.
Members of chambers are frequently instructed for different parties in the same or related litigation. There are procedures in place to ensure that effective information barriers are created as soon as this situation arises. They are strictly adhered to and the need to provide complete reassurance to lay and professional clients is understood. Please speak to Lizzy Stewart for more details.