Garden Court Chambers offers our clients excellence in advocacy, advice and customer service. Our specialist team-based clerking and strong administration function ensures this support.
As part of our commitment to delivering the highest standards Chambers has attained the Bar Mark standard, the international standard ISO 9001:2008 and the Legal Services Commission’s Quality Mark.
It is because of this that clients come back to us time and time again. You can download our Quality Policy Statement here.
The following details our administrative procedures and steps for instructing barristers;
Chambers office hours are 8.45am to 6.15pm weekdays. In emergencies, clerks can be contacted on the numbers given on the answerphone.
Telephone calls are answered by the receptionists or a clerk if they are not available. Messages for barristers or clerks can be left on their personal voicemails. These will be returned as soon as possible.
You can contact all our staff on their personal email addresses. Messages sent to chambers’ central email address are checked and passed to the recipients throughout the day.
DX and post
All mail and DX is opened, date stamped and distributed to barristers by 11am on the date received. Mail addressed to a barrister is also opened unless it is marked ‘private and confidential’ in which case it is immediately placed in the appropriate ‘pigeonhole’.
Briefs will be acknowledged by letter dispatched on the day of receipt. Other correspondence is dealt with in five working days.
Accepting instructions for a hearing
The clerks can assist a solicitor or other adviser when they require advice on which barrister would be most suitable for a particular case. A barrister will not be double booked without the agreement of the solicitors concerned. However a brief must be forwarded to chambers within seven days of the telephone booking otherwise the barrister may be booked for another case unless the booking has been confirmed in writing by the solicitor.
Solicitors can send instructions to counsel for paperwork without previously contacting a clerk but when this happens the nominated barrister may not be able to accept the instructions.
If a solicitor requires the work to be completed earlier than 21 days from receipt then he or she should indicate this on the backsheet. If the brief needs to be completed within five working days of receipt then please mark it as “urgent”. If it needs to be done within 24 hours of receipt then please mark it “very urgent”.
Instructions for work to be completed in less than 21 days must have the clerk’s previous agreement before it is sent. If a time limit is to be exceeded then the barrister should inform the solicitor.
A barrister instructed to attend court will be present at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing unless other arrangements have been made.
Conferences usually take place in chambers, but can be held at other locations by arrangement. Disabled access for conferences is available by prior arrangement.
Return of completed briefs
Completed briefs will be returned promptly accompanied by a fee note.
You can view the Graduated Fee Payment Protocol here.