Implementation of New Terms of Engagement for barristers
17 October 2012
Update to the profession: the new Contractual Terms and
applicable Code of Conduct changes will be introduced on 31 January
The practical effect of the changes will be as follows:
1. The present Terms of Work (both in Annex G1 and G2 of the Bar
Code of Conduct) are abolished.
2. The Withdrawal of Credit List is abolished.
3. The Bar Code of Conduct is amended so that the Cab Rank Rule
applies to instructions offered on the basis of these new
Contractual Terms or the barrister's own published terms of
engagement - so that, effectively, instead of the Cab Rank Rule
applying to the present Terms of Work, it will apply to these new
Contractual Terms or the barrister's own published terms.
4. Neither the new Contractual Terms nor the barrister's own
published terms will become the "new" default terms. Default terms
are no longer required because barristers/chambers are obliged to
publish their terms under the Provision of Services Regulations
5. Barristers will continue to be free to agree any terms, no
terms, or to amend the new Contractual Terms.
6. In place of the Withdrawal of Credit List, there will be a List
of Defaulting Solicitors and other Authorised Persons. A further
change to the Code will be that, instead of a barrister being
forbidden to take instructions on credit from solicitors named on
the Withdrawal of Credit List, the barrister will have the right,
under the Cab Rank Rule, to refuse instructions on credit but,
equally, can decide to accept instructions.
7. The solicitors currently on the Withdrawal of Credit List will
be transferred to the List of Defaulting Solicitors and other
8. For work undertaken on the new Terms (after the implementation
date), complaints can be made to the Bar Council for solicitors to
be placed on the List of Defaulting Solicitors and other Authorised
Persons, if a judgment has been obtained for non-payment of the
fees or there is non-payment of a joint tribunal award.
9. When complaints are made after the implementation date of the
new Terms, but where the instructions were accepted prior to the
implementation date, and thus on the old Terms of Work/Withdrawal
of Credit scheme, there will be transitional arrangements to enable
those complaints to be made to the Bar Council and for the
solicitors to be put on the List of Defaulting Solicitors and other
10. Although the new Contractual Terms apply to privately funded
cases or where, irrespective of the source of funding, the
solicitors are liable to pay barristers, complaints in respect of
instructions covered by full publicly funded certificates can
continue to be made - again, with the solicitors placed on the List
of Defaulting Solicitors and other Authorised Persons.
11. The new contractual terms have been drafted not just for use
in relation to instructions from solicitors, but also all
persons/bodies authorised by the SRA to carry out legal services
under the Legal Services Act 2007.
Standard Conditions and changes to the Code of
Conduct can be found on the Bar Council's website.
For further information or clarification, please contact
Janice Marshall, Implementation Committee Secretariat at the
Bar Council - direct line 020 7611 1375.