The clerks at Brick Court Chambers are experienced and knowledgeable. Led by Tony Burgess and Paul Dennison they advise clients on choosing the most suitable counsel and help with all aspects of efficient case management.
Barristers at Brick Court Chambers are instructed by a wide variety of clients and entities:
UK Solicitors’ Firms
The majority of work undertaken by members of Brick Court Chambers is through referrals from UK solicitors’ firms. Instructions may arise from an established relationship with a barrister, because of a recommendation by a client, or following discussion with one of the clerks about who would be best placed to work on a matter.
Diary bookings and fee negotiations are undertaken by the clerks. All types of fee arrangements are considered, and we are happy to give estimates prior to work being undertaken.
Brick Court Chambers has strict policies in place regarding the double booking of counsel and in the event of opposing counsel being instructed within Chambers.
An increasing number of instructions to the Bar are from in-house lawyers instructing barristers directly. This trend has been embraced by Brick Court Chambers, which now works directly with a substantial number of in-house counsel and General Counsel.
Not all cases will be suitable for direct instruction to the Bar (for example where a matter requires a large team) but good examples in our experience include initial advisory work, pre-litigation strategy advice and some instructions for attendance at hearings.
One major advantage of direct instruction is cost. Another is having a single point of contact with your adviser rather than a large team of assistants. As members of Chambers appear regularly before courts and tribunals, they have an up-to-the-minute understanding of how the courts will interpret submissions and evidence and consequently how best to structure and prepare them.
We also have the familiarity with the UK legal services market to be able to advise clients on the range of litigation solicitors that may best complement our barristers when needed to assist with progressing a case through to a hearing.
Barristers from Brick Court Chambers are involved in a large volume of international work, frequently instructed directly by lawyers from other jurisdictions, and appearing in courts and tribunals all over the world.
Unlike in some jurisdictions, the legal profession in the UK is divided into two distinct branches - barristers and solicitors. Solicitors are typically in direct contact with lay clients, whereas barristers are generally appointed by solicitors on behalf of their clients for advocacy and advisory work. A persuasive and well-presented argument is a highly-prized and necessary part of the litigation procedure in the UK legal system, and the benefit of a barrister’s experience in this can often give one party an edge.
For international lawyers, instructing an English barrister is a straightforward process. Barristers are all self-employed but share the services of a clerk and administration with other barristers in a collective called a set of chambers. The first point of contact in employing a barrister is through their clerks who manage their diaries and all fee matters. The experienced and knowledgeable team of clerks at Brick Court Chambers, led by Tony Burgess and Paul Dennison, have detailed knowledge of the experience and skills of each of our barristers and are therefore ideally positioned to assist on the best choice of counsel, as well as all aspects of efficient case management. Details of fees for the instruction of a barrister can be obtained from the clerks, who can also provide cost estimates for both barristers’ work and English litigation more generally.
Where a matter so requires, barristers may work in teams of two or more. The flexibility of the chambers system means that they need not necessarily be members of the same chambers. From time to time barristers in the same chambers may be instructed by parties who are on opposing sides of a dispute. These arrangements can seem unusual to some clients, but they may rest assured that there are very specific procedures in place to ensure that confidentiality and the highest standard of ethics are maintained when this occurs. Our confidentiality guidelines can be found by clicking here.
From January 2014 overseas lawyers can instruct and engage barristers directly to conduct litigation in the courts of England and Wales. A barrister can advise you if this is appropriate or not; if the additional involvement of an English solicitor is thought to be more appropriate, we are able to refer you to a very extensive network of firms in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Below are some testimonials from international lawyers who have used barristers from Brick Court Chambers:
“In engagements with four silks and their juniors over several years, I have found Brick Court extraordinarily reliable, practical and responsive. A foreign lawyer should feel at ease instructing Brick Court.”
Michael Socarras, Washington DC
“I had the privilege of working with a silk from Brick Court in major anti trust proceedings in Australia, and there is no doubt that this was a career highlight for me. As an added bonus, I found dealing with the senior clerks and other staff of the chambers to be a real delight - I felt they were very conscious of considering my needs as instructing solicitor and those of my Australian client and went out of their way to make everything run smoothly - so that the time zone and jurisdictional differences seemed non existent.”
Rebecca Davies, Sydney
Direct Public Access to Barristers
Some members of Chambers of over 3 years’ call have undertaken the required training to be able to accept instructions directly from lay clients without the involvement of a solicitor or other intermediary. The barrister will be able to draft documents, give written advice and provide advocacy services in courts and tribunals.
Members of Chambers also accept instructions via the Bar Council’s Licensed Access scheme from professionals such as surveyors, accountants, engineers, planners etc who have been granted a licence to instruct a barrister directly.
Please contact the clerks for more information and assistance regarding direct access.