Terms of Business
At Kings Court Chambers we seek to offer our clients excellence in advocacy, advice and customer service. Our clerking and strong administration function ensures this support. Kings Court Chambers is committed to our Quality Policy Statement which summarises our commitment to maintaining and developing our quality system. This can be found at www.kingscourtchambers.com
How we work
The work we do comes into chambers by three main routes:
- by direct access through an intermediary agent;
- by direct access where you contact chambers or a barrister from chambers directly;
- in the traditional way, whereby solicitors brief members of chambers for advice, to draft agreements, settle proceedings, or conduct litigation.
The bulk of the cases coming into Kings Court Chambers is public access work in the field of immigration law, which is carried out in accordance with the Bar Councils’ public access rules.
The processing of your case is carried out by the administrative staff in chambers, but a qualified barrister with public access rights is the only person who will give you advice or conduct any appeal or other legal proceedings on your behalf. As soon as your case is sent to us by your intermediary agent, a barrister (either one of your choice or if you have not chosen one, or the one chosen is not available, an available barrister from chambers) will be assigned to your case to carry out your instructions.
As a direct access client you will have full use of Kings Court Chambers’ unique client portal.
- Throughout the entire process you will be directed to automatic updates on your matter via your personal portal and you will be notified when to log in to access the update or any request for further information that is required of you.
- You are urged to utilise your personal client portal for any query you would like answered.
- The client portal will allow you to communicate anytime, day or night, from anywhere in the world at your leisure, provided that you have access to internet facilities. It also safeguards data protection, as your portal will be protected by your unique username and password.
- In short, use of your personal client portal promotes expediency, security and efficiency. It also provides a recordable log of all events and dealings in your matter enabling you to be fully conversant with the process at all stages. Please note that you should not send original documents and if you do chambers cannot be held responsible for their safekeeping. As a general rule, documents can only be accepted and considered if you upload them onto the portal.
- If your circumstances do not allow the full use of the portal you are urged to communicate this as soon as possible. Your personalised client portal is located at https://www.ukimmigrationonline.com
1. Chambers office hours are 9.30am to 5.30pm weekdays. In all other instances the client portal operates for 24 hours and documents or queries can be uploaded on it.
2. Chambers’ central contact number and email is available on the home page of our website and messages for barristers or clerks can be left on the available voicemail/email and will be notified to the person concerned and calls will be returned as soon as possible. Contact via the client portal and email is the preferred and most efficient method to notify us of any issues.
3. The fax machines operate around the clock. During office hours the fax machines are checked regularly and barristers are notified by a message left on their voicemail of the receipt of any fax for them.
4. Messages sent to chambers' central email address are checked and passed to the recipients throughout the day, but it is best to utilise the client portal’s email messaging function for expediency.
5. 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'. Anything that is posted out by Kings Court Chambers up to the cost of standard first class delivery shall be a cost paid by us. Any postage costs over and above this, such as courier, recorded or special delivery amongst others, is to be paid by the client.
6. Briefs will be acknowledged by letter or email, dispatched on the day of receipt. Other correspondence is dealt with within five working days.
7. Kings Court Chambers is committed to the implementation and promotion of equal opportunities and to ensuring an absence of direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, religion or political persuasion. Our Equality Policy can be found on our website www.kingscourtchambers.com
The Range of Barrister Work
8. Barristers advise on the law, draft documents for clients to use and appear on behalf of their client before courts, tribunals, regulatory bodies or other organisations. But, there are certain things that we are not allowed to do under our professional rules:
- Barristers are not allowed to take client money on account. The only money we take from you is money up front in respect of our fees.
- Barristers are not allowed to undertake the administrative day-to-day management of a case proceeding through a court.
- Barristers do not perform the functions of a solicitor or other authorised litigator and so do not issue or serve legal proceedings or court applications or fulfill limitation obligations. disclosure obligations and other obligations arising out of or related to the conduct of litigation.
- All of the barristers working with Kings Court Chambers are authorised to practice in England and Wales unless otherwise stated. If a matter is listed to be heard outside of this jurisdiction it will be requested to be heard in England or Wales. Unfortunately if you require the case to be heard outside of our jurisdiction you must inform us immediately so as not to incur costs in your matter.
Accepting instructions for a hearing
9. When a public access client, an intermediary agent acting for the lay client, or a solicitor requires advice on which barrister would be most suitable for a particular case the clerks are available to assist. A barrister will not be double booked without the agreement of the public access client, the intermediary agent or the solicitor concerned. If no barrister is available at Kings Court Chambers we will find you someone suitable to do your case at other chambers. 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.
10. Public access clients, an intermediary agent acting for the lay client or solicitors may 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 and thus it is preferred that the proper route be used
11. If a public access client, an intermediary agent acting for the lay client or a solicitor requires the work to be completed earlier than 21 days from receipt then he or she should indicate this by a clear indication sent by letter, email or on the back sheet. If the work 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". In the case of urgent and very urgent work, please check with the clerks that this time limit can be met and ask for an acknowledgment if this is the case. In immigration and other appeals with a short time limit this procedure is very important.
12. All instructions that work is to be completed in less than 21 days must have the clerk's previous agreement, preferably, before they are sent.
13. If a time limit is or is likely to be exceeded then the barrister should inform the lay client or the instructing solicitor.
14. Consultations with a public access client are usually done with your barrister, but a face-to-face conference with your barrister may be organised and will usually take place in chambers, but can be held at other locations by arrangement. Disabled access for conferences is available at the Kings Court Chambers address in Birmingham, but will need to be organised at other locations by prior arrangement.
15. A barrister instructed to attend court should be present at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing unless other arrangements have been made.
16. Kings Court Chambers is registered under the Data Protection Act.
17. All barristers at Kings Court Chambers have professional indemnity insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, and some may also have additional insurance.
Feedback and complaints
18. All of the barristers and staff at Kings Court Chambers value feedback - please do let us know at any time what you think of our services. Our aim is to give all clients an excellent service at all times. However, in the event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, please let us know as soon as possible, either by telephone or in writing so that we can provide a remedy. You can speak to your barrister by prior arrangement with the clerk, or you can contact our Legal Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Usually we can resolve clients' concerns informally. If you do wish to make a formal complaint, you can do so by writing to the Head of Chambers.
- If a dispute arises about any aspect of the services provided to you, we will use all of our respective reasonable endeavours to resolve it by negotiation.
- We are committed to resolving your concerns and would therefore ask you to utilise the convenience of your unique portal to convey any issues in the first instance. Should you remain dissatisfied you may write to one of our Heads of Chambers in accordance with our formal complaints procedure, details of which can be found on our website www.kingscourtchambers.com Under this procedure, a complaint is one made in writing, including by email to email@example.com, which is addressed to the Head of Chambers, care of the Senior Clerk. You should supply your name and address, identify which member(s) of Chambers you are complaining about, provide the details of the complaint and indicate what you would like done about it. If a complaint is made against one of the Heads of Chambers the other Head of Chambers will deal with your complaint. If both of the Heads of Chambers are the subject of your complaint you should write only to the senior clerk and they will assign your complaint to the next most senior alternative barrister. We will aim to resolve any concerns to your satisfaction and if necessary we will conduct an internal investigation, keeping you informed of the stages to follow. Upon conclusion of our investigation and our proposals to resolve matters, should you not accept the same, you are advised that you have the option to contact an independent body, namely the Legal Services Ombudsman, who will further conduct their own investigation. We of course, very much hope your case runs smoothly and is successful. If you wish to continue and instruct us, you will need to confirm your acceptance of this document before we can continue, please do so by ticking the box in the confirmation section on your portal. You should also retain your own copy of this letter for your records however this letter will be published onto your client portal and will remain accessible by you at any time.
- If you are not happy with Chambers’ reply then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. You must complain to the Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint from from chambers (provided the response specifically notifies you of your right to complain to the Ombudsman and of the six month time-limit). A complaint to the Ombudsman must also be made not more than six years after the act or omission complained about or not more than three years from the date when you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint. For further details about how to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, including guidance about the new scheme rules that came into effect on 1 February 2013, please contact the Legal Ombudsman directly at:
PO Box 6806
Phone: 0300 555 0333
- A guide to the new scheme rules that came into effect on 1 February 2013 can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk/downloads/documents/A-guide-
- Frequently Asked Questions concerning the new Legal Ombudsman can be found on the Bar Standards Board website at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/complaints-and-
The barrister is contractually entitled to the fee so paid and is under no obligation to the client to refund fees but may do so at his or her discretion. However, the barrister will always retain the fixed sum of £350 paid for the initial consultation and advice.
If the client wishes to cancel their immigration matter and obtain a refund of monies paid they must first inform Kings Court Chambers of this by messaging via the client portal or calling our customer service team.
The client will then be advised of a date in which to expect to obtain the refund.
Please note that it may take up to 30 working days to receive your refund.
19. You can find more information about Kings Court Chambers on our website: www.kingscourtchambers.com
Each barrister also has their own personal profile on our website, detailing their areas of expertise, experience and qualifications. See www.kingscourtchambers.com/barristers. You can also find out more about how barristers work, and read their Code of Conduct on the website of our professional regulator, the Bar Standards Board. See www.barstandardsboard.co.uk.
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