Contract terms are usually discussed and agreed on a case by case basis. Members of Chambers will also accept instructions under the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 published by the Bar Council, a copy of which can be found here, as required by the Bar Code of Conduct. Contracts governing the services of members of chambers will be subject to English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales (unless otherwise agreed in writing).
Timescales for work to be completed can be agreed in advance. These will vary depending upon the circumstances which include the barrister’s other commitments, both professional and personal, the volume of material to be considered and the need to obtain further instructions or information.
Most advisory and drafting work is charged on an hourly basis, but estimates can be agreed in advance and if applicable fixed or capped fees can be agreed. The setting of hourly rates is not necessarily straightforward and a number of factors may determine the rate: for example, seniority, area of work, the complexity and value of the case.
For advocacy work, members of chambers usually charge a brief fee for preparation and the first day of a hearing and a refresher (a fixed fee for each subsequent day of the hearing, including ongoing preparation). Sometimes fees are fixed in advance or are payable at an agreed hourly rate.
On occasions members of chambers agree to enter conditional fee agreements under which they receive enhanced fees if litigation is successful but either no fee or only a proportion of their fees if it is not.