Public Access – GMC Defence Barristers
GMC defence barristers can work directly with you on your case
We are first class specialist barristers who can work with you from start to finish helping to prepare you case and also represent you at hearings before the GMC
GMC defence barristers offer meticulous case preparation and excellent client care, keeping you informed and involved every step of the way. GMC defence barristers are fearless advocates of your case.
- If you are interested in instructing a barrister under the Public Access Scheme then call our staff on 0203 119 1192. They will take details of your case. Alternatively complete the enquiry form setting out in brief the details of you case and how you can be contacted and we will get back to you
- Should your case be suitable for Public Access we will arrange a meeting with you in chambers or elsewhere to suit you. We can arrange video conference if necessary
- We accept work form the public, professionals, companies or other organisations without incurring the added expense of a solicitor. We offer highly competitive rates and fixed costs where possible
- To see what our public access clients have to say click here
KINGS VIEW CHAMBER’S TERMS FOR PUBLIC ACCESS WORK
1. Your barrister is the only person you are instructing and he / she will personally do all the work needed under the arrangement. Your barrister is a self-employed barrister, although he / she will practise alongside other barristers from a set of Chambers currently Kings View Chambers in London. A set of Chambers is a practice where a collection of independent self-employed barristers share the premises and administrative services.
Your barrister will carefully consider the instructions and can confirm that he / she has sufficient experience and competence to undertake the work.
2. If for any reason your barrister cannot carry out all of the work you are instructing him / her to do, or if he / she believes that another barrister or solicitor instead of them or as well as them should carry out the work for you, the clerk or your barrister may propose this. However, another barrister or solicitor will not carry out work for you unless and until you have agreed to such an arrangement and have instructed the other barrister or solicitor. If you feel that you would be happier with the services provided by an organisation (rather than an individual), you need to instruct a firm of solicitors. They can still instruct a barrister on your behalf, if you so choose.
3. There may be times when your barrister’s professional commitments clash, usually other court cases that overrun or dates that are fixed by a judge by Order that cannot be moved. If your barrister identifies a possible clash of commitments they will, with the help of the clerks, try to do the following:
(1) Warn you as soon as possible and ask you how you would prefer to continue.
(2) Suggest the name of another barrister within chambers of a suitable level of seniority and expertise who is willing to accept your case under the same terms as this agreement. You would then need to decide whether you want to instruct that barrister.
(3) Help you find a barrister from other chambers if there is not a suitable barrister within your barrister’s chambers, or if you do not want chambers to continue working on your case.
(4) Discuss with you the costs of using another barrister.
The work your barrister will carry out
4. The work you are instructing your barrister to carry out is set out in the cover letter.
5. If subsequent work is needed on this matter, and your barrister is available to do the extra work, there will need to be another letter of agreement.
The range of a barrister’s work
6. Under the Public Access scheme, barristers advise on the law, draft documents for clients to use, and appear on behalf of their client before courts or other organisations. Barristers do not handle client money. Barristers are restricted from undertaking certain aspects of litigation. Should there be an area of work that your barrister cannot undertake then he / she will inform you. In most cases your barrister can assist you. On some very rare occasions you may also need to use a solicitor. The limitations on a barrister’s role actually have very little impact in most cases.
7. Here are some examples of what barristers can do for you under the Public Access scheme:
Draft a letter or formal response for you to send. They may send certain letters on your behalf on their headed paper. However, a barrister may not enter into correspondence that falls into the defined category of formal ‘litigation’. This does not prevent barristers from corresponding with the court or tribunal or making submissions to the court or tribunal.
If a witness statement is needed from you, your barrister may draft one based on what you tell him / her. They may also help to finalise a witness statement from another person based on the information that they have provided. On occasions your barrister may arrange for colleagues to obtain witness statements from other witnesses, so that he /she is not called as a witness in the particular case.
Barristers may advise you on the need for expert evidence and on the choice of a suitable expert. They are not permitted to instruct an expert on your behalf, though they are permitted to write the letter of instructions for you to send.
Barristers may advise you on the law and evidence and steps to be taken to prepare your case for trial or how to approach written submissions.
Barristers may act for you at the trial, as your advocate, testing the evidence against you putting your case, and calling any witnesses you may have as part of your case. They may also advise and act for you on appeal, should there be an adverse outcome, if so instructed.
8. As you are instructing a barrister without a solicitor, you must be sure that:
(1) You are able to do whatever is necessary for those matters that your barrister cannot deal with under the Public Access Scheme rules; or
(2) You have made an arrangement with another person of suitable competence and experience to provide these services for you.
Circumstances when your barrister may not be able to act for you
9. In a barrister’s professional work they must follow the Bar Code of Conduct. As a result, if they consider that a solicitor needs to be instructed in your own interests or for some other professional reason they will no longer be able to act for you other than on the instructions of a solicitor. If they foresee that situation arising, they will give you as much notice as possible. On occasions, they might recommend a further specialist lawyer’s opinion.
10. Your barrister will give clear advice where they believe that a solicitor would be better suited to deal with a particular element of the case or where it is in your best interests to instruct a solicitor.
Your Barrister’s Availability
11. As your barrister will carry out all their professional work personally, there will be times when they will not be available to you. For example, if they are in court for a day or for several days in a row, they may be unavailable to all other clients (including you) during that time. The clerks however will be able to get a message to them.
12. Your barrister’s fees for this work are set out in the cover letter.
13. Under these terms, you are responsible for paying those fees.
14. In most cases, fees must be paid before or at the time the work is carried out. If you owe any fees and do not pay them for more than three months afterwards, interest will be payable at 2% above Barclays Bank base rate from 28 days of the date of the fee note.
15. Your right to cancel is set out in the cover letter.
16. You will lose your right to cancel this contract if the services have been fully performed at your express request within the cancellation period [in which case your barristers will ask you to confirm that you understand you will lose your right to cancel]
17. It is possible that you may be eligible for public funding or “legal aid” as it is usually referred to. However, a barrister cannot do legal aid work unless they have been instructed by a solicitor. If you want to talk to someone in more detail about getting legal aid, you should contact a solicitor who does legal aid work. You can find more information on the government website.
18. If you do not qualify for legal aid, you might like to consider whether you have any insurance policies that might cover your legal fees, or if the fees may be paid by someone else, for example a trade union.
19. Your barrister can advise and represent you if:
You make an informed decision not to seek public funding;
You make a public funding application, e.g. you have applied to get legal aid to help fund you case, that is rejected;
You do not wish to take up and offer of public funding [perhaps because you consider that the level of contribution you will be required to make is too much]
20. In signing these terms, you confirm that you have been informed that you may be eligible for public funding and where you can find further information. You are choosing to instruct a barrister without the benefit of nay public funding that may be available to you.
21. You and your barrister will agree that:
(1) You are entitled to keep copies of any documents you give him / her for their own professional records (and archive); and
(2) Your barrister will return all your original documents to you when they have carried out the work you have instructed them to do.
Your barrister would prefer that you give them copies of documents rather than originals however if this is not possible, they may make a reasonable charge to you for producing photocopies.
Limitation of liability
22. Your barrister and you will agree that his / her financial liabilities in relation to the contract, or any negligence liabilities on his / her part, to you, shall be limited to two and a half million pounds sterling. [Your barrister holds current Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund insurance to that value but if you were to require your barrister to have a higher value of indemnity cover, you should not sign a/this client care letter until such further indemnity cover has been arranged and a new client care letter reflecting the change has been drafted for you to sign.]
23. The information which you give me will be received in professional confidence. The only exception is that statutory and other legal requirements may cause your barrister to disclose information which they have received from you to governmental or other regulatory authorities and to do so without first obtaining your consent to such disclosure or telling you that they have made it.
24. The contract will be governed by English law, and any dispute will be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
25. Your barrister and you will agree that you will make full disclosure of all matters and all paperwork to him / her at the start of the agreement and throughout the term of the agreement.
26. Your barrister and you agree that you are paying him / her for their expertise and advice. If you do not follow their advice in whole or in part they will not be liable for the consequences of any deviation from that advice.
27. Your barrister aims to provide you with a good service however if you are not satisfied, you should first refer the matter to Chambers in line with the Chambers’ complaints procedure. If you would like a copy of Chamber’s complaints procedure, please ask.
28. If for any reason Chambers’ complaints procedure is not able to deal with the problem, you may make a complaint to:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
29. The terms may seem rather formal but it is to protect both you and your barrister from any misunderstandings. It is also a requirement of the Bar Standards Board that the terms of the agreement are clearly set out.