Founded in 1974, Garden Court Chambers is a number one ranked barristers’ chambers advising solicitors, members of the public and organisations across the UK and around the world.
Our motto, ‘Do right, fear no one’, embodies our longstanding ethos: we are dedicated to fighting your corner, no matter how formidable the opponent might seem.
Equally, our approach is progressive. We help many clients use the law to advance social justice and equality.
Our multi-disciplinary expertise has proved vital for clients where cases bridge a number of areas.
Reflecting the size of Garden Court and our diversity of specialisms, we have three Joint Heads of Chambers: Leslie Thomas QC, Judy Khan QC and Marc Willers QC.
Garden Court has a proud history of winning ground-breaking cases of constitutional importance. Our legal challenges have overturned great injustices in many landmark decisions.
Equally, our barristers fight hard for clients in countless cases that don’t hit the headlines, but are nonetheless vital for defending the rights of those we represent.
188 Leading Barristers
26 Expert QCs
Access to over 180 leading barristers supported by highly proactive and responsive clerking teams for your area of law.
Members of the public who want direct access to affordable legal advice from top ranked barristers.
Including NGOs, charities, campaign groups, international governments and special interest groups.
Garden Court Chambers offers our clients excellence in advocacy and legal advice. Our highly responsive team-based clerking ensures we maintain the highest levels of customer service.
As part of our commitment to delivering the highest standards Chambers has attained:
STANDARD CONTRACTUAL TERMS
Standard Contractual Terms
From 25 May 2018, Chambers implemented the Bar Standards Board’s Standard Contractual Terms in respect of all briefs and instructions accepted by members of Chambers to which the Contractual Terms apply.
Details of the Terms of Business will be included in the acknowledgement letter on receipt of briefs and instructions.
The Bar Standards Board’s Standard Contractual Terms can be found here:
Data Protection, Privacy & COOKIES Policy
We want you to know that when you use our organisation you can trust us with your information.
We are determined to do nothing that would infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This Privacy Notice describes the information we collect about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.
We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that we hold and process. Our registered address is 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ. Our registration number is Z6284345 and our Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Mia Hakl-Law. Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the information that we hold about you is provided to us by yourself when you seek to use our services. We will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it.
Our Lawful Basis for processing your information
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires all organisations that process personal data to have a Lawful Basis for doing so. The Lawful Bases identified in the GDPR are:
Consent of the data subject
Performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract
Compliance with a legal obligation
To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
Performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the
The legitimate interests of ourselves, or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data
Examples of legitimate interests include:
- Where the data subject is a client or in the service of the controller;
- Transmission within a group of undertakings for internal administrative purposes;
- Processing necessary to ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access;
- Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud; and
- Reporting possible criminal acts or threats to public
Our Lawful Basis in relation to barristers’ casework is for Garden Court Chambers Ltd Barristers to undertake the work they are instructed to do as counsel and for Garden Court Chambers Ltd staff to undertake the support work to enable the counsel to act. And our Legitimate Interest is that the data subject is a lay client (via professional clients’ instructions).
Our Lawful Basis in relation to the staff and barristers is for Garden Court Chambers Ltd to undertake the required HR function.
We use the clients’ information to:
- Provide services, quotations, and information, in relation to the cases our barristers are instructed in;
- Provide service in the form of events such as seminars and lectures related to the work our barristers undertake;
- Process or support payments for goods and services;
- Conduct data analysis, testing, and to monitor and analyse usage and activity trends;
- Maintain the safety, security and integrity of our services;
- Direct your enquiries to the appropriate support staff;
- Investigate and address your concerns;
- Communicate about services, news, updates and events;
- Investigate or address legal proceedings relating to your use of our services, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law;
- Make statutory returns as required by appropriate bodies.
We do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data.
We collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. This includes:
Payment or bank details;
Date of birth;
Payment or bank details;
Date of birth;
Family & next-of-kin details
Medical conditions (if necessary for GCC Ltd to be aware of for purposes of providing assistance if needed)
We do not share your personal data with others
Transfers to third countries and international organisations
We transfer personal data to third countries or international organisations using the identified safeguards because the nature of some cases our barristers are instructed in require this.
We have satisfied ourselves that such transferred data is fully protected and safeguarded as required by the General Data Protection Regulation.
We retain your personal data while you remain a client, pupil, employee, contractor, unless you ask us to delete it. Our Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long we hold data for and how we dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held.
We will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:
- There is an unresolved issue, such as claim or dispute;
- We are legally required to; or
- There are overriding legitimate business interests, including but not limited to fraud prevention and protecting customers’ safety
The General Data Protection Regulation gives you specific rights around your personal data. For example, you have to be informed about the information we hold and what we use it for, you can ask for a copy of the personal information we hold about you, you can ask us to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data we hold, you can ask us to stop sending you direct mail, or emails, or in some circumstances ask us to stop processing your details. Finally, if we do something irregular or improper with your personal data you can seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred. You can find out more information from the ICO’s website and this is the organisation that you can complain to if you are unhappy with how we deal with you.
Accessing and Correcting Your Information
You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting us at 020 7993 7600.
You may opt out of receiving emails and other messages from our organisation by following the instructions in those messages.
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We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
Here are the cookies we use:
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This is used for success and error messages.
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We will occasionally update our Privacy Notice. When we make significant changes, we will notify you of these, through mail. We will also publish the updated Notice on our website.
Our Quality Policy statement summarises our commitment to maintaining and developing our quality system. The following quality policy underpins the business operation of Garden Court Chambers.
Chambers is committed to providing our clients with advice, advocacy and associated legal services that meets, or exceeds, their expectations, thereby establishing ourselves as a professional and highly regarded supplier in our fields of expertise.
This is achieved through ensuring that each client’s instructions are explicitly understood and the basis on which fees will be charged are agreed according to our Terms of Business and the Standard Contractual Terms published on our website. Chambers is committed to soliciting feedback to ensure continuing and complete satisfaction with the services provided.
The company operates according to a management system that meets the requirements of the international quality standard, ISO 9001:2015 and the Legal Services Quality Mark. These standards provide the necessary basis for ensuring consistency in the levels of service provided.
The aims and objectives of the management system are communicated to all of the tenants and staff who each assume ownership and responsibility for their own roles in the system and the company as a whole.
The management system is subject to periodic review to ensure that the company continues to provide the levels of service demanded by its clients, as well as enabling the identification of opportunities for further improvements to the business wherever these may arise.
If you require any information regarding our quality system or wish to comment on our service please contact our Head of HR and Operations Mia Hakl-Law.
1. Our aim is to give all lay and professional clients a good service at all times. However, in the event that you are dissatisfied with the treatment you have received from a barrister or a member of our staff, we wish to provide a remedy.
When should you complain?
2. Experience tells us that, very often, potential complaints can be resolved informally, because they may have arisen through a misunderstanding or can be remedied without resort to the full complaints procedure. We encourage you to take up a complaint with the responsible person in the first instance. If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction in this way, it is open to you to make a formal complaint. We recognise, of course, that there may be grievances which are incapable, in your view, of being resolved in this informal way.
3. A formal complaint will be entertained if it is made within 6 months of the date of the cause of the complaint or when informal resolution has failed, whichever is the later.
What is a complaint?
4. Under this procedure a complaint should be made in writing by email to Mia Hakl-Law, Director of Operations & HR. You should supply your name and address, identify which member(s) of Chambers you are complaining about, provide the detail of the complaint and indicate what you would like done about it.
5. If you consider yourself to have a disability which affects your ability to formulate or pursue a complaint, please tell us and we will discuss appropriate and reasonable adjustments with you.
6. Your correspondence will be acknowledged in writing within three working days of receipt.
7. It is the job of the Head of Chambers to determine what has gone wrong. You should receive a full written response within 14 days.
8. However, if the matter raises issues which, in the opinion of the Head of Chambers, requires an investigator to determine the facts, he will appoint a suitable member of chambers to carry out an investigation. A letter will be sent to you within 14 days of your complaint informing you who has been appointed.
9. The investigator will then have access to all the relevant documents, will be able to interview witnesses and may need to contact you for further information.
10. The investigator will then produce a report to the Head of Chambers as soon as possible, ordinarily within 14 days of his or her appointment. If it is not possible to meet this deadline the Head of Chambers will write to you and inform you when the investigation is expected to be concluded.
11. The Head of Chambers will consider the report and write to you, setting out the nature of the investigation. He will inform you whether he upholds the complaint or rejects it, setting out the reasons why. When a complaint is upheld the letter will set out or include a proposal for resolving the complaint.
12. All conversations, records and documents relating to the complaint will be treated confidentially and retained for 6 years. They will only be disclosed as necessary: normally only to the person complained about, the investigator and (in response to a specific request) the Bar Standards Board or Legal Ombudsman.
Supervision of complaints procedure
13. As part of our commitment to client care, we keep a record of all complaints made and the outcomes. Our complaints panel may inspect this record regularly to ensure compliance with our procedure and with a view to improving the service we provide. Our complaints panel also submit an annual report to Chambers’ Management Committee to ensure the continued improvement of our services. Additionally the record of complaints is available to the Bar Standards Board in the exercise of its monitoring or auditing functions.
Complaints after the internal process
14. If it has not been possible to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process, alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate exist which is competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and the Head of Chambers wish to use such a scheme.
You also have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, which deals with legal services complaints.
You have six months from the date of our final letter in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
PO Box 6806
A brief history of Garden Court Chambers
Garden Court Chambers, now located at 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, has come a long way from its origins in 1974 when six barristers just out of pupillage set up, with the help of a loan, in three rooms in Lincoln’s Inn.
At the time, their aspirations were regarded as revolutionary if not subversive.
They had clear goals in mind:
- to provide socially useful legal services, supporting and complementing law centres
- to work in an environment that was democratic with a balance of sexes and races
- to train pupils and pay them
- to argue cases that made a difference; in particular, to engage in the struggle for human rights (at a time when the term was regarded with nothing less than ridicule) and for sexual and racial justice. If necessary, working for no reward.
Such ambitions, they realised, could only be achieved by setting up a new set of their own. Three of the founders are still members of Chambers today.
Over the years as Chambers expanded we’ve been in different locations: first to Farrar’s Building in the Inner Temple, then to Garden Court with annexes at Devereux Court. In 2005, we relocated to Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
The aspirations of our founders still remain integral to Chambers
Through thick and thin the commitment of the members of Chambers and staff has not wavered. Much of the founders original vision has been achieved. Some of our innovations have been accepted by the Bar in general and some have even become compulsory.
Our casework has substantially contributed to the progress of the law and to social progress. In the reported cases, across all our areas of practice, counsel from Garden Court Chambers have argued in the defence of the rights of accused and in furtherance of the rights of individuals against the state in landmark decisions. Our stance is often bold and inventive and, in the end, successful.
Our belief in our motto Recte faciendo neminem timens (Do right, fear no-one!), our commitment to principle and to the quality of our client service remains as strong as ever.
Equality & Diversity
Founded upon a commitment to social justice, Garden Court Chambers has always prided itself on a commitment to diversity. The outcome is that we are one of the most diverse organisations and workplaces in the country.
Garden Court Chambers is proud to be a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, the leading employers programme for ensuring that all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.
Our Statement of commitment to equal opportunities
- Garden Court is committed to equal opportunities and tackling discrimination.
- We recognise that in society groups of individuals are oppressed and/or disadvantaged on grounds of their race, ethnic or national origin, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability and age. We further recognise that there is acute discrimination both in the criminal justice system and the legal establishment.
- We are committed to ensuring that our policies and practices relating to all aspects of the running of chambers and of the legal services that we offer, are accessible to and reflect the needs of those who face such discrimination.
- We recognise that to achieve equality of access and service delivery, positive steps will be required to eliminate discrimination.
- It is the policy of Garden Court Chambers (Limited) to deal with its tenants, employees, pupils, lay and professional clients, and applicants for pupillage or tenancy or any other position (and all others who have dealings with chambers) without distinction by reference to race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or social class. Age and disability are also to be disregarded save in those limited circumstances in which they are genuinely material to the relevant position.
- In particular, chambers are committed to ensuring that pupils, tenants and employees are selected without discrimination, that discriminatory considerations play no part in the allocation of work within chambers, and that no instructions are accepted from solicitors who seek to select Counsel on a discriminatory basis. Further, chambers does not permit or condone harassment on the grounds of any of the factors set out at paragraph 5 above.
- To that end chambers takes into account the BSB’s Equality and Diversity Code, and will continue to do so as the Code is amended or revised from time to time.
- Chambers will maintain separate written policy statements dealing with selection of pupils and tenants, instructions to clerks concerning the refusal of instructions offered on a discriminatory basis, parent leave, and the operation of a grievance procedure for pupils and employees. (the preparation and maintenance of such policy statements to be the responsibility of the relevant committees).
- Any decision or action found to have been taken on discriminatory grounds will, if possible, be reconsidered. Steps will be taken to ensure that any harassment of any person or persons is brought to an end. Any tenant, employee or pupil of chambers who is found to have committed any act of prohibited discrimination will be dealt with as seems most appropriate by the chair and deputy chair of the Management Committee/Board of Directors.
Mentoring Scheme – Access to the Bar for All
Our pioneering and award-winning mentoring scheme, ‘Access to the Bar for All’, encourages students from minority and disadvantaged groups to consider a career as a barrister. 16-year-old students, girls and/or those from ethnic minority and disadvantaged groups are offered mentoring for five years and paid internships at Garden Court.
In 2017, the scheme was awarded Diversity Initiative of the Year at the UK Diversity Legal Awards.
Students in the scheme have the opportunity to be awarded a £7000 per year scholarship to assist with living expenses at university if they go on to study a law degree.
This scheme has been pioneered by Mia Hakl-Law, Director of Operations and Human Resources at Garden Court Chambers, in conjunction with Leslie Thomas QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers.
Barristers from Garden Court have kindly agreed to provide mentoring to students over the course of five years. The mentor barristers are: Connor Johnston, Jo Cecil, Paul Clark, Helen Curtis, Gemma Loughran and Ann Osborne.
Applications for the scheme are currently only open to the students of the three participating schools, Oaklands School, Walworth Academy and Plumstead Manor.