The terms & conditions
These terms have the same meaning as set out in an email to you:
The “Fee” means the fee payable to Absolute Barrister Ltd
The “Barrister” means the barrister assigned to your case (or their replacement).
The “Work” means the work the barrister will carry out, summarised in an e-mail to you.
The “Identification Documents” are any documents supplied by you for the purpose of establishing your identity, an example of those required is set out in an email to you.
“Absolute Barrister Ltd” is us, registered office 145-157 St John Street, London, EC4Y 7EB. Telephone 0800 222 9998; Fax 020 3489 0518; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Engaging Our Services
a) These terms and conditions apply afresh to each stage of work you may require us to do. By accepting our terms and conditions you are not placed under an obligation to pay. The contract with us is accepted by you, for any one stage of work, by accepting these terms and conditions coupled with paying the Fee for that stage of work in full (or exceptionally, if agreed separately, a proportion of that fee). At that point you have contracted with us. If you have paid before accepting these terms and conditions and you decide not to accept them, it goes without saying that you will be entitled to a full refund.
b) Any future work will be subject to these terms and conditions afresh when you make payment for that future stage. You will be able to access these terms and conditions any time through your online access.
c) For any one stage of work, work will not commence within 14 days unless you require us to so do. We require that confirmation from you either by logging in and leaving message, or by email or other durable medium (e.g. writing) without which we will not be required to perform any work or instruct your barrister.
d) We also reserve the right to cancel your contract in whole or in part if at any stage we are not satisfied with the Identity Documents or due diligence documents supplied or the refusal to supply them.
e) Any delay greater than two days (unless agreed otherwise) in receipt of either acceptance of our terms and conditions and Fee for the first stage of work may affect the quote, it may affect the availability of your Barrister and/or the fee charged for the service you require. (If you are paying by bank transfer, you should factor in any time that it will take for you or your bank to make the payment.) The period for which quotes for future services are valid will be set-out at the time of that quote, or will be 2 days if otherwise not specified.
2. Our Services
a) Absolute Barrister Ltd carries out a range of services which vary from case to case. These tasks can include:
- taking a detailed initial account
- taking a detailed initial account from any prospective witnesses
- collation and storage of anti-money laundering and due diligence documentation
- finding and arranging a barrister to represent you in court or answer you legal question
- instructing a barrister on your behalf
- finding and/or arranging a substitute barrister if for any reason your barrister cannot act for you - wherever possible (e.g. because of a clash with another case)
- arranging instruction of notary public if required (if quoted)
- arranging instruction of solicitor if required (if quoted)
- provision of access to an electronic case management system or cloud throughout your case including:
- Secure document storage and retrieval, including document encryption, compression and version control
- Online messaging, including date, time recording, automatic notification, transcript download
- Access to the cloud from mobile device & smart phones
- paralegal assistance associated with document processing and any tasks directed by your barrister
- payment for all legal suppliers associated with your case
- acting as a central point of contact for your case for you and your barrister
- arranging for electronic bundle preparation (as directed)
- provision of conference calls, fax to email, photo uploads
- conducting the upload/email or transmission of documents as required and support for any technical issues
- providing administrative assistance behind a barrister in court (if quoted)
- providing an extra layer of protection and / or complaint handling
b) Absolute Barrister Ltd will assist as far as it may within the law, and as directed by your barrister where relevant, with administration tasks associated with the progression of your case.
c) There are a number of situations in which barristers are under a duty not to take on a case, either because they do not practise in a certain subject area of law or for example there is a conflict of interest with a previous case (this is not an exhaustive list). Absolute Barrister is not responsible for the barrister adhering to these or other professional conduct rules for which each barrister is governed by the Bar Standards Board. Above and beyond those rules Absolute barrister ltd has selected the Barrister for you and your case in its absolute discretion. If you are unhappy with the choice, you should contact absolute barrister ltd immediately, or in any event before work commences (certainly before a repeat instruction), and a member of the team will be happy to assist you.
d) Absolute barrister ltd provides access to its on-line system on an “as is” basis. That means that whilst we will do what we can to ensure it is operational, to the fullest extent permissible by law, you will not hold absolute barrister ltd liable for any loss resulting from a defect in it not working properly, its process or access to the service (including for example, the upload and storage of documents) and you should be prepared to use other methods of communicating information (e.g. telephone, fax, email, post). You must make and retain copies of all data, documents and/or messages that are important and make your own back-ups of them (Absolute Barrister Ltd is not a back-up service) and you should never send original copies unless specifically requested by your barrister.
e) Absolute barrister ltd will facilitate the storage, retrieval of your documents and will have access to them for the purpose of the progression of your case and/or any technical issues.
f) Your Barrister is responsible for providing you with legal advice. Absolute barrister ltd does not provide legal advice. You will not rely upon or construe anything that is said or done by absolute barrister ltd (nor its employees or agents) as legal advice. You will receive a standard letter of care from your barrister that outlines the working relationship between you.
2. Your responsibilities
a) You agree to send electronically and/or upload copies of Identity Documents requested by us to confirm your identity under anti-money laundering legislation. We reserve the right not to commence work, even if you request us to so do, unless and until absolute barrister ltd is satisfied with the Identity Documents supplied.
b) If your case is going to go to court, neither Absolute Barrister Ltd nor your Barrister are (currently – we hope one day this will change) permitted in law to carry out any steps in the litigation process. You undertake that you are capable of carrying out litigation steps associated with your case (your Barrister will of course explain the process to you). These can include:
i) issuing proceedings, or an originating process, before any court (This is how a case starts in court. You will need to file any formal documents at court yourself);
ii) issuing an application before a court (again, you must file these documents at court yourself);
iii) performing ancillary functions in relation to proceedings (such as entering appearances to action) or taking any formal steps required to conduct litigation including:
iv) you cannot give our address or that of the barrister for formal service of documents (you must use your own address or that of your company);
v) acknowledging service (you must confirm that you have received documents sent to you by the other side);
vi) instructing an expert witness or accepting responsibility for their payment (you must pay and instruct an expert witness yourself);
vii) instructing any other person (you must pay and instruct any other person needed during the course of your case yourself);
viii) any other formal step in litigation.
3. Right to Cancel
You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days without giving any reason.
The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from of the day on which the contract is entered in to.
To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform Absolute Barrister Ltd, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PW, email: email@example.com, telephone 0800 222 9998, fax 020 3489 0518 of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post, fax or email). You may use the attached model cancellation form, but it is not obligatory.
To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.
You are entitled to withdraw from the case at any time (please see clause 6(b) below).
4. Effect of Cancellation
If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you all payments received from you.
We will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which we were informed about your decision to cancel this contract.
We will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.
If you requested us to begin the performance of services during the cancellation period, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been performed until you have communicated to me your cancellation from this contract, in comparison with the full coverage of the contract.
a) The Fee for any one stage does not include all the expenses that might be payable by you, for example, the fees charged by a court to issue an application or the fee to have a document notarized. If you are unsure what this might mean in your case, you should contact Absolute Barrister Ltd who will be able to help you.
b) You should note that in the event of winning your case, your Fee may not be recoverable in part or in full and as the law currently stands, the recovery of any part of your Fee paid to Absolute Barrister Ltd is unlikely to be recoverable.
c) The Fee includes basic photocopying and the preparation of documents as carried out by your barrister but it does not include the preparation of large bundles for court. For the sake of clarity, a large bundle is one in excess of one lever arch file. (Please contact absolute barrister ltd for further assistance who would be happy to quote you further on this.)
a) Absolute Barrister Ltd is responsible for paying your Barrister and will pay the Barrister in its absolute discretion. Any difference between the fee originally agreed with the Barrister and the fee paid, including interest, if any, will be retained by Absolute Barrister Ltd.
b) After accepting the initial quote and after the 14 day cooling off period, if you withdraw from the case, or if for any reason, for example, significantly less work is required than first thought, the calculation of the overall fee may be reduced by Absolute Barrister Ltd to reflect what is reasonable in the circumstances, reflected the work done. Absolute Barrister will look at whether the fee charged is reasonable in relation to the work done, and Absolute Barrister Ltd may divide the fee between it and the Barrister in proportions which differ to those set out in the original quote to you.
c) Barristers are unable to hold your money. Should any money need to be held or transferred during the course of your case, for example, in settlement of a claim, and that money is held by Absolute Barrister Ltd, that money will be held by Absolute Barrister Ltd for the purpose agreed at the time of the transfer, unless otherwise directed. Absolute Barrister Ltd may charge for this service but will quote you separately for it.
7. Documents & Confidential information
a) The information which you give absolute barrister ltd. will be received in professional confidence. The only exception is those statutory and other legal requirements which may cause absolute barrister ltd to disclose information which it has received from you or your barrister to governmental or other regulatory authorities and to do so without first obtaining your consent or the consent of your barrister to such disclosure or telling you or your barrister that we have made it.
b) Absolute barrister ltd may use third parties to check your Identification Documents. You give absolute barrister ltd permission to use your Identification Documents in this way.
c) Absolute barrister ltd uses third party software providers to manage the storage of and access to your documents and messages. You accept that the physical location of the storage may be on computers outside of the European Union. You give Absolute Barrister Ltd permission to use software providers in this way. You give permission for Absolute Barrister Ltd staff to access your documents and messages and other communications from countries including those outside of the European Union and to access your data and communicate via email. You will not hold absolute barrister ltd liable for any loss that may result from technical, legal or any other issue which may result from using or storing documents in this way.
8. Repeat Instruction
a) Your case may from time to time require further or different work to be carried out. Whilst the work that needs to be done and the Fee will be agreed separately, that work will be subject to these same terms and conditions set out here (and as may from time to time be varied) afresh.
9. Complaints, Insurance and limitation of liability
a) We want to give you the best possible service. We aim to deal with any issue in your case as soon as it arises however, if at any point you become unhappy with the service we have provided, we have a formal complaints procedure set out in full at www.absolutebarrister.com/complaints-what-if-if-all-goes-wrong. If you have any complaint about the service you receive you should contact us immediately in the way you usually contact us – call 0800 222 9998 or alternatively you can email:
or write to:
Customer Services Department
Absolute barrister ltd.
145-157 St John Street
You can find Absolute Barrister’s complaint procedure at www.absolutebarrister.com/complaints-what-if-if-all-goes-wrong. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about poor service from claims management companies. The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years of when you found out about the problem. If you wish to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman this must be done within six months of our final response to your complaint. If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman their contact details are as follows:
Visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk/cmc Call 0300 555 0333 between 8.30am to 5.30pm. Calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01or 02) from both mobiles and landlines. Calls are recorded and may be used for training and monitoring purposes. For minicom call 0300 555 1777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6804, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WG. (Do not send original documents to the Legal Ombudsman. They will scan any documents you send us to make computer copies and then destroy the originals.)
b) Barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board and maintain their own professional indemnity insurance (to which terms and conditions apply) normally limited to £500,000 in respect of any one claim. That insurance is wholly the responsibility of the individual barrister and you will not hold Absolute Barrister Ltd liable for any claim relating to any defect in cover, failure of the barrister to adhere to their insurance terms or their failure to renew, take out or pay for that insurance. If you believe that your case may require higher cover, you should seek further agreement with Absolute Barrister Ltd before accepting these terms and conditions.
c) Absolute Barrister Ltd. maintains its own professional indemnity insurance cover for those actions which it performs limited to £500,000 in respect of any one claim (terms and limitations apply). You will not hold Absolute Barrister liable for loss which may result through breach of contract, tort, or other duty owed, for any act or omission save for bad faith, willful misconduct or gross negligence.
d) Further, you will not hold Absolute Barrister Ltd liable for any act or omission whatsoever, which you yourself, or with the assistance of Absolute Barrister Ltd, could have reasonably identified and taken steps to avoid to mitigate any such loss. If you believe that your case might require higher cover you should seek further agreement with Absolute Barrister Ltd before accepting these terms and conditions.
a) These terms and conditions may be varied by sending or making available a revised set of terms and conditions to you. They will be accepted by and apply from an express indication from you to continue your existing instruction, or will form the basis of agreement of any new or further instruction.
b) If after any stage of variation you do not accept them, then you should contact Absolute Barrister Ltd immediately, before continuing with your case.
End of Terms and Conditions
(There follows below a cancellation form.)
To Absolute Barrister Ltd, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PW, email: email@example.com, telephone 0800 222 9998, fax 020 3489 0518
I/We [*] herby give notice that I/We [*] cancel my/our [*] contract for the supply of the following service [*],
Ordered on [*],
Name of consumer(s),
Address of consumer(s),
Signature of consumer(s) (only if this form is notified on paper),
[*] Delete as appropriate.