Covid-19

Hardwicke continues to respond the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation and to ensure that we do all we can to keep our people, clients, friends and families safe.  It is now imperative that we do all we can to limit physical contact for the time being and therefore our working premises at Hardwicke Building in Lincoln’s Inn is closed.  However, Hardwicke remains open for business, in as normal a way as we can make it.  Barristers, practice managers and the rest of our staff team are working remotely and making good use of technology to reach out.

You can call us on +44 (0)20 7242 2523. Our normal telephone system is still operating and our usual friendly team is available to help.

We have a specific Covid-19 Resources section to assist with the specific issues which the coronavirus pandemic is causing across all sections of society and business.  For ease, see a summary page of all contacts during this unusual time.

Home > Client information > Direct access

Direct access

Licensed access

Under the licensed access scheme, barristers at Hardwicke can accept instructions from professional individuals and organisations granted a license by the Bar Council. For more information about licensed access please see the Bar Council website.

All instructions received under the licensed access scheme will be accepted on the basis of the Bar Council’s licensed access terms of work. Please contact the practice management team if you have any queries.

Public access

Some barristers at Hardwicke are registered to provide legal advice and representation under the public access scheme which enables a company, an association or an individual to instruct a barrister direct. For further information please see the Bar Standards Board’s Public Access Guidance to Clients.

What are the advantages of instructing a barrister direct?

In cases that are suitable for public access, direct access to a barrister is an efficient and cost effective way of obtaining legal advice or representation without any unnecessary duplication of fees. By way of example, our barristers can provide you with direct expert legal advice; draft agreements, correspondence and instructions to experts; assist with the statements of litigants and witnesses; negotiate on your behalf and attend without prejudice meetings; draft formal court documents and represent you in court or in a tribunal.

Is my case suitable for public access?

Some cases may not be suitable for public access. Barristers are not able to offer a service of general management for a client’s legal affairs, or the administration of a case, or handle client money. None of our barristers are authorised to conduct litigation and so if your case leads to litigation you will need to be able to tackle certain tasks yourself as a litigant in person. These tasks include issuing proceedings, adherence to some time limits, disclosure of documents and communicating with the court and other parties. If you are unsure that you feel able to deal with such tasks, you should consider if it would be better to have a solicitor assist you with the case.

Unfortunately, you cannot instruct a barrister directly under legal aid. If you anticipate requiring legal aid you will need to instruct a solicitor who has an appropriate legal aid contract.

How do I instruct a barrister?

If you are considering instructing a barrister at Hardwicke, please complete our online enquiry form.

Instruct a barrister

If you would like to contact one of our trained public access practice team, please email publicaccess@Hardwicke.co.uk

Fees and charges

Depending on the type and scope of the work required, the fee will be either a fixed fee for specific work which we will agree in advance or an agreed hourly rate for the time spent undertaking work for you with an estimate of the likely time. If there is a hearing we will usually agree a fee with you to cover the preparation and time in court. All the fees will have VAT added. Factors affecting how much it will cost include the time the work will take, the seniority and experience of the barrister, the amount of paperwork to read; the complexity of the issues and what you would like the barrister to do.

We will give you a clear written quote specifying the work the barrister will do before undertaking the work. If following the initial work further legal assistance is required, the work and fee will be agreed with you in advance and confirmed in writing. We will usually ask for the payment of any agreed fee in advance of the work being done.

In addition to professional fees, there may be costs to be paid, such as travel or accommodation or other incidental expenses. VAT will be added if applicable.

Do I enter into a contract with the barrister?

Yes. Once instructions have been received and a fee agreed you will receive a client care letter and terms of engagement which you must sign and return. It is important that you read and understand these documents as they form a contract between you and the barrister.

  • Areas of work

    We undertake public access work across our wide areas of expertise both for businesses and individuals. In relation to some of these areas further information appears below:

    Employment

    Please see under Commercial Dispute Resolution for information about our experience in the full range of Employment and Executive Disputes.

    In relation to straightforward unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims our barristers can advise both employees and employers and represent them at the Employment Tribunal.

    Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity of your case, the need for additional documents and the other side’s approach. However, as a guide more straightforward cases tend to have a hearing date four to six months of a claim being made.

    Our fees for this work will be calculated on the basis of each barrister’s hourly rate, to which VAT will be added, and the time taken to undertake the work. Indicative fees for the key stages are: 

            Stage of case                                                              Range of hourly rates (estimates)

    Written advice on your claim£180 – £300, approximately 3 to 10 hours
    Preparation of case, including meetings with you and assistance with drafting of any tribunal documents£180 – £300, approximately 5 to 8 hours
    Preliminary hearing£180 – £300, approximately 3 to 10 hours
    Preparation and first day’s tribunal appearance£180 – £300, approximately 12 to 20 hours
    Tribunal appearances per day, after the first day£180 – £300, approximately 10 to 12 hours per day
    Remedy hearing (to decide compensation)£130 – £300, approximately 6 to 16 hours

    If your case is more complex or for a quotation in relation to your specific case please contact us at publicaccess@hardwicke.co.uk.

    Winding-up petitions

    If you are owed £750 or more by a company and are able to prove that the company cannot pay you, you may be able to apply to a court to close or ‘wind-up’ the company. Our barristers can advise you on the process of issuing a winding-up petition and represent you at the court hearing. If you are company which has had a winding-up petition issued against you, our barristers can also advise you on the process of defending it and represent you at the court hearing.  None of our barristers is authorised to conduct litigation so you will need to tackle some tasks as a litigant in person. If you are unsure that you feel able to deal with such tasks, you may need a solicitor to assist you. Please contact us at publicaccess@hardwicke.co.uk  if you would like to discuss this.

    Timescales may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the need for additional documents and court waiting times. However, as a guide the courts tend to have a hearing date eight to ten weeks after a winding-up petition is issued.

    Our fees will be calculated on the basis of each barrister’s hourly rate, to which VAT will be added, and the time taken to undertake the work. Indicative fees for the key stages are:

        Stage of case                                                             Range of hourly rates (estimates)

    Advice on issuing or defending winding-up petition£250 to £350, approximately half to 1 hour
    Assistance with completion of forms and all necessary steps to take£250 to £350, approximately 1 hour
    Preparation for and attendance at court hearing£250 to £350, approximately 1 hour

     

    These are estimates only and if you would like a quotation in relation to your case please contact us at publicaccess@hardwicke.co.uk

    Inheritance Act advices

    Please see under Contentious Probate and Inheritance Act Claims for information about our expertise in this area.

    Our barristers can provide public access clients with advice in relation to bringing or defending claims under the Inheritance Act 1975. The Inheritance Act 1975 protects spouses (including former spouses), cohabitants, children and other dependants when a person dies without leaving sufficient money for the dependent’s continued wellbeing. Our barristers can provide you with written advice on whether you can make a claim under the Act. Our barristers can also provide you with written advice when a person dies and you are a beneficiary of the estate, but someone else makes a claim under the Act.

    Timescales for your written advice may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the value and complexity of the deceased person’s estate, your financial needs and those of any beneficiary of the estate. However, claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 must be made within six months of the grant of probate, so, as a guide, your written advice will be available within two to four weeks where possible.

    Our fees for providing written advice on making or defending a claim will be calculated on the basis of each barrister’s hourly rate, to which VAT will be added, and the time taken to undertake the work. The estimated range of hourly rates is currently £150 to £424 plus VAT and the time taken is likely to be between 8 and 16 hours.

    If the deceased person’s estate is worth more than £300,000 or you would like a quotation for your specific case please contact us at publicaccess@hardwicke.co.uk.

  • If you have concerns

    We take pride in providing a high quality of service to all our clients and hope that you will be entirely satisfied. However, if you have any concerns please see here to find details of how to raise these with us.

     

  • General information for lay clients

    Please click the link to read our general information sheet for lay clients.

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