It is the policy of Spire Barristers to ensure that the needs, concerns and interests of the client are always paramount and discharged to the best of our ability by both our administration/clerking staff and individual members. Members are organised into practice groups covering the main areas of law for the provision of services. The terms and conditions of business and timescales for completion of work are agreed wherever possible at the start of a case and the client is advised and kept fully informed of progress when problems are identified.
Terms of Service
Spire Barristers operate under the Bar’s new standard contractual terms. Note that the new terms are our default position unless varied by written agreement. These changes will apply to all privately funded work and do not apply to publically funded work or work funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement. A copy of the new terms is available here.
When you contact chambers to book counsel the clerks will be able to advise you on the most appropriate person to undertake your matter. Should you enquire as to a specific counsel, the clerks will inform you of the individual’s diary availability. Inevitably, however, in a busy chambers there will be occasions where work has to be returned to another barrister – for example, because a case has over-run or because of listing changes by the Court. The clerks are in daily contact with Court listing officers, but solicitors will know the problems that late listing changes can cause. We have a strong policy not to double-book counsel without express agreement. If a case has to be returned, our clerks will suggest suitable alternative appropriate counsel. In the unusual event of us not being able to assist within Chambers, we will be able to advise you of alternatives.
Accepting Briefs and Instructions
Our client care letter and terms of business are sent to all new clients on the first occasion that work is received. Client requirements may be by way of brief for court, instructions for conference or instructions for written work. Any conflict of interest between the professional and lay client during a case is immediately brought to the attention of both parties by the member and appropriate advice provided to the lay client. All briefs are endorsed with the outcome and returned to the client once the case is completed.
Feedback from Clients
The Senior Clerk informally discusses Chambers’ performance from time to time with clients and obtains feedback regarding the extent to which the services provided meet clients’ expectations. Clients are also sent evaluation forms by post. These are sent on a sampling basis by barrister/ solicitor/finished case. The returns of the evaluation forms are recorded in a report by the Office Manager which is reviewed by the Management Committee and actions are agreed to improve performance.
We hope that you will not have cause to complain about our service but do recognise that, even in the best run organisations, things can go wrong or are less than perfect. Chambers has a formal complaints procedure whereby each barrister and member of staff is personally responsible for complying with Chambers client care and complaints policy in respect of their own dealing with clients. Should a complaint, either formal or informal be necessary see our Complaints Procedure.
All complaints will be progressed and resolved promptly and effectively with the aim of notifying the client of the outcome as soon as possible. Should your complaint not be resolved to your satisfaction then clients have a further avenue of complaint via the Legal Ombudsman.Please do not hesitate to contact us