Instructing us

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Serjeants’ Inn’s standard terms of work

The standard terms of work upon which members of Chambers will accept instructions are The General Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Solicitors in Commercial Matters, version 3, produced by the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) and the City of London Law Society (CLLS) (“the COMBAR Terms”), with the inclusion of clause 12.4 and the payment basis of the Agreement between solicitor and barrister to be agreed.  These terms are referred to below as “Chambers’ standard terms of work”.

The COMBAR Terms are downloadable here.

Chambers’ standard terms of work will apply to all matters in which members of Chambers are instructed with the exception of those identified below.

On receipt of each case an acknowledgment letter will be sent with the required details including the payment basis to be adopted for that case (see clause 9 of the COMBAR Terms).

Current Standard Hourly Rates

Fees under Chambers’ standard terms of work will be calculated by reference to the amount of time reasonably required to supply the services and a reasonable hourly rate, taking into account all the circumstances of the case. Please click on this link to download Members of Chambers’ current standard hourly rates.

We can also provide a fixed price if appropriate: for example, we usually charge fixed-rate fees for advocacy work (especially for court work). Potential clients may contact our clerking team to obtain a quotation for legal services.


The areas of law in which members of chambers most commonly provide legal services are:

Business & Specialist Crime
Clinical Negligence & Healthcare
Court of Protection
Healthcare Regulatory
Inquests, Inquiries & Investigations
Product Liability
Professional Discipline & Regulatory
Public & Administrative

The most commonly provided legal services provided by members of chambers in these areas of practice can be accessed by clicking on the relevant pages for each area above. Further details can be found in the profiles for our individual barristers which are available here.


Stages and timescales of a case will vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the area of law, complexity of your case, the amount of documentation, witnesses and experts involved, as well as any unforeseeable external factors.

Our clerking team will liaise with you in relation to the timescale the barrister has advised and will monitor this to ensure deadlines and service standards are met.

Members of Chambers can aLso be instructed on two alternative bases:

(1) Under the (New) Standard Contractual Terms for The Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (the ‘Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms’); or
(2) On a non-contractual basis under the Bar’s former practice (formerly Annex G to the Code of Conduct, adapted to reflect the discontinuance of the Withdrawal of Credit Scheme) as applicable prior to 31st January 2013.

Under the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales, members of Chambers are not obliged under the ‘Cab Rank’ rule to accept instructions offered on a non-contractual basis or if any variation is sought to Chambers’ standard terms of work or the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms.

Any variation to Chambers’ standard terms of work or the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms must be agreed expressly in writing. Please note that no barrister’s clerk has authority to agree any variation to clauses 12.1 to 12.4 (‘liability’) in Chambers’ standard terms or work, or to clauses 10.1 to 10.2 (‘liability’) in the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms.

When agreeing to Chambers’ standard terms of work, the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, or a non-contractual basis for instruction, any solicitor will be taken to have agreed on behalf of their firm and the client that any dispute regarding fees is to be referred to the Voluntary Joint Tribunal on Barristers’ fees whose decision will be final and legally binding.

Where Chambers’ standard terms of work do not apply

Chambers’ standard terms of work do not apply in circumstances
• where the lay client is to be a party to the contract, unless the lay client is the Authorised Person; or
• in a conditional fee agreement (“CFA”) unless the CFA specifically provides for those terms to apply; or
• for publicly funded matters where the barrister is paid direct by the Legal Services Commission (or its successor the Legal Aid Agency) unless the barrister and the instructing party agree to adapt Chambers’ standard terms of work, provided that no provision of the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales is thereby infringed.

If you have any questions on our terms of work, Lee Johnson, our Senior Clerk, will be pleased to assist.

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers Standard Terms & Conditions for Conditional Fee Agreements.

We accept instructions on a Conditional Fee basis and The Standard Terms & Conditions can be found here. Short form agreements will be sent out on a case by case basis but if you need to discuss further then do not hesitate to contact Tom O’Connor or  Lee Johnson