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We are committed to fighting injustice, defending human rights and upholding the rule of law

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: Judy Khan QC, Stephanie Harrison QC and Liz Davies.

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.

We are the largest barristers’ chambers in London offering clients an unrivalled breadth and depth of expertise.

195 Leading Barristers

27 Expert QCs

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:

International Standard
ISO 9001:2015

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:

New Standard Contractual Terms For The Supply Of Legal Services By Barristers To Authorised Persons 2012 (Updated for the GDPR in 2018)

Contractual terms for civil (non family) legal aid work

 

Garden Court Chambers Terms on Inter Partes Costs

Upon a claim or defended claim settling, Chambers are to be informed in writing, the date and the terms of settlement within 7 working days of the settlement when inter parte costs are payable.

Chambers are to be informed within 7 workings days of any interim or final costs order made by the court when inter parte costs are payable.

Chambers shall be provided with a copy of the sealed order from the court within 7 working days of service of the order by the court including any terms for an interim costs order and details relating to any legal aid statutory charge which may apply to interim or final costs order.

Chambers are to be informed in writing within 7 working days as to the date when a completed bill of costs claiming inter parte costs is sent to the opponent together with a copy of the bill.

On assessment or agreement of amount of inter parte costs, Chambers are to be informed in writing within 7 working days of the determination and provide a copy of any order or written agreement as to payment of inter parte costs.

Chambers are to be informed of any offers to settle by agreement for inter parte costs, in advance of any negotiations or agreement to settle, unless there is an express consent to the contrary.
In the event of Points of Dispute being served, Chambers should be provided a copy on receipt and confirmation of the deadline for providing a response.

Chambers are to be informed in writing when the sum due in inter parte costs is paid into the client account within 7 working days of receipt of cleared funds and to settle the balance of fees due within 30 days of said notification in accordance with the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (updated for the GDPR 2018) and Contractual terms for civil (non-family) legal aid work.

Correspondence in accordance with the above can be forwarded to costsorders@gclaw.co.uk and/or iprecovery@gclaw.co.uk

Fees

Fees will depend on the type and complexity of the case and the seniority of the barrister.  Timescales for completing the case will also depend on the type and complexity of the case and the availability of the barrister/s you wish to instruct.

The fee structure will depend on the case. We charge: a brief fee (preparation for a trial and the first day); refresher fee (for each subsequent day of the trial including ongoing preparation); capped fees; hourly fees; fixed fees or Conditional Fee Agreement (‘no win, no fee’) depending on the case and the barrister instructed. Cases that qualify for legal aid will be billed under the legal aid regulations as set out by the Legal Aid Agency.

Please advise if your case is exempt from VAT and on which basis, as VAT will be charged on all of fees unless you notify us otherwise.

On public access cases, we charge an administration fee of £25 plus VAT for administrative services provided, including photocopying, printing up to 200 pages (black and white only). We charge a further fee of £10 plus VAT (£12 in total) for every further 100 pages of printing.

Please contact us for a quote and further information on all applicable fees.

 

Data Protection & Privacy 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.

This Notice is provided on behalf of: (1) the Barristers who practise from Garden Court Chambers (“the Barristers”); and (2) Garden Court Chambers Limited (“GCCLTD”), a company which carries out functions in relation to and on behalf of the Barristers and Garden Court Chambers.

This Notice explains how GCCLTD and the Barristers process personal data. In some contexts, the data controller is an individual Barrister. In other contexts, the data controller is GCCLTD. This Notice covers both situations. This Notice also explains your rights in relation to any personal data about you that is processed by the Barristers or GCCLTD.

Legal Framework & Definitions

The way in which Barristers and GCCLTD process personal data is governed by data protection law, which includes the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 2018”).

The following terms are defined by the GDPR and DPA 2018. A short explanation is given below, although this is not intended to substitute any definitions set out in the legislation.

By personal data, we mean information relating to an identified or identifiable person.

By special category personal data we mean personal data consisting of genetic data; biometric data used for the purpose of identifying an individual; data concerning health; data concerning an individual’s sex life or sexual orientation; or data that reveal an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade union membership.

By criminal offence data we mean data about whether an individual has committed or has been convicted of a criminal offence.

By data controller we mean the person or body who determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

Processing of personal data by Barristers

Barristers process personal data for the purpose of conducting their professional practice, and for the purpose of providing legal services in the course of such practice.

Barristers are data controllers in respect of any personal data processed by them directly for the purposes of their own individual professional practice. For example, Barristers are data controllers in respect of the personal data held in their own email accounts, in their electronic professional diaries, or on any electronic device which they use for work purposes. A Barrister will also be the data controller in respect of any personal data contained within hard copy papers relating to a case or matter that has been allocated to that barrister.

The legal basis upon which Barristers process personal data as data controllers is as follows:

  • Where a professional or lay client has given consent to the processing of their personal data by a Barrister, the processing of that personal data by the Barrister is based on consent.
  • Where consent has not been given for the processing of personal data by the Barrister, processing is based on the Barrister’s legitimate interests in conducting their professional practice and in providing legal services.
  • Where a Barrister processes special category personal data or criminal offence data, it will be on the basis that the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. This will apply to the processing of personal data in connection with litigation and for the purpose of providing legal advice.

Processing of personal data by GCCLTD for the purposes of supporting Barristers’ practices:

  • GCCLTD employs staff members (including barristers’ clerks) to assist Barristers in conducting their practices, and to deal with the administration of Garden Court Chambers.
  • GCCLTD is the data controller for electronic personal data processed by GCCLTD staff for the purposes of assisting Barristers to run their practices.
  • GCCLTD is also the data controller in respect of any personal data processed in connection with any unallocated case (i.e. a case that has been referred to Garden Court Chambers but has not been allocated to a particular Barrister).

The legal basis upon which GCCLTD processes personal data for the above purposes is as follows:

  • Where a professional or lay client has given consent to the processing of their personal data by GCCLTD, then the processing of that personal data by GCCLTD is based on consent.
  • Where consent has not been given for such processing, any such processing is based on GCCLTD’s legitimate interests in assisting the Barristers to conduct their professional practices and provide legal services.
  • Where GCCLTD processes special category personal data or criminal offence data, this is on the basis that the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. This will apply to circumstances where the personal data is processed in connection with litigation, or for the purpose of providing legal advice.

Processing of personal data for the administration of Garden Court Chambers

GCCLTD is the data controller for data that is processed for the purposes of administering GCCLTD. This includes data that is processed for billing purposes and for marketing purposes. In relation to marketing data, GCCLTD will not send marketing emails except where permitted under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 or any successor legislation.

GCCLTD is also the data controller in respect of all data relating to: staff employed by GCCLTD, job applicants, contract workers who provide services to GCCLTD, and mini-pupils, squatters and pupils at Garden Court Chambers.

The basis on which GCCLTD processes such personal data is as follows:

  • Marketing data is processed on the basis of the legitimate interests of Garden Court  Chambers, the Barristers and GCCLTD in marketing the services of Barristers practising at Garden Court Chambers. The processing of personal data for the purposes of direct marketing by email is carried out on the basis of consent.
  • The processing of staff data and data relating to contract workers is necessary for the performance of employment or other contracts to which GCCLTD and the relevant data subjects are parties.
  • The processing of special category personal data in connection with employment is conducted on the basis that the processing is for employment purposes, or for occupational health purposes.
  • Data relating mini-pupils and pupils is processed on the basis of the legitimate interest of Garden Court Chambers, the Barristers, and GCCLTD in the recruitment and training of new barristers and of potential new members of Garden Court Chambers.

Your rights

Under the GDPR and DPA 2018, you have various rights in connection with any personal data about you that is processed by a Barrister or by GCCLTD as data controller.

  • You can ask the Barrister or GCCLTD to give you access to personal data about you that is held by them.
  • You can ask the Barrister or GCCLTD to erase personal data about you that is held by them.
  • You can ask the Barrister or GCCLTD to restrict their processing of personal data about you, so that the data will only be used for limited purposes (set out in the GDPR).
  • You can object to the processing of your personal data by the Barrister or GCCLTD.
  • You can ask for personal data about you that you have provided to the Barrister or GCCLTD to be provided to you in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format, and you can transmit that data to another data controller.

All of these rights are set out in detail in the GDPR and DPA 2018, which explain the conditions for the exercise of these rights, and any limitations. Various exemptions may apply, including in relation to data that is protected by legal professional privilege.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please make it clear whether you are seeking to exercise your rights against one or more Barristers (and if so, please identify them) and/or against GCCLTD.

Consequences of failing to provide data

If you are a client of one or more Barristers, and you do not provide information to them, or if you withdraw any consent for the processing of personal data by them or GCCLTD, or require them or GCCLTD to cease processing your data or to erase your data, then the effect may be that the Barrister(s) in question are unable to provide legal services to you, or the Barristers in question are unable to provide all of the legal services that you have asked for.

Right to lodge a complaint

You have the right to lodge a complaint to the Information Commissioner about the processing of your data by a Barrister or GCCLTD.

The Commissioner’s contact details are:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
WilGCCLTDow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113
https://ico.org.uk

Contact details

The data controller for your personal data may be an individual Barrister practising at Garden Court Chambers, or may be GCCLTD. This Notice explains above who will be the data controller in relation to specific personal data.

Barristers, and GCCLTD, can be contacted at:

Garden Court Chambers
57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3LJ

Where appropriate, personal data may also be processed to the extent that we are required to do so by law; or in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings, including in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights.

Website terms & conditions

Thank you for visiting the Garden Court Chambers web site (www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk). Access to, and use of, this site is subject to the following terms.

By using and accessing this site you are agreeing to be bound by these terms, which take effect immediately on your first and all subsequent visits to this site. These terms may be changed at any time and without notice by posting changes here. You should review these terms regularly to ensure that you are aware of any and all changes. Your continued use of www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk after changes to these terms are posted means that you have agreed to be bound by these terms as updated and/or amended.

Disclaimer

Information and commentary provided on this site is provided free of charge and for information purposes only. Any views expressed or comments made on the law in any part of this site are the opinions of the author only. No responsibility for the accuracy or correctness, or for any consequences of relying on this information or commentary, is assumed by Garden Court Chambers Limited or any individual member of staff or member of Garden Court Chambers. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case, matter or area of law. You are strongly advised to obtain specific and personal advice from a qualified lawyer about your case or matter and, expressly, should not rely on the information or comments on this site. Garden Court Chambers is not responsible for, and does not accept any liability in any form whatsoever, for the content of any external third party web sites accessed or used through www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

Cookies

We use cookies as part of the basic functioning of the site, and to track web traffic data using Google Analytics.

Use of cookies in this way does not give us gives us access to personal information about you, except for any information that you may submit when subscribing for services or sending us a message.

If you prefer not to allow us to store a cookie on your machine you may do so by changing your browser settings. Information is provided below to help you do that. Please note that the site may not work if you do not allow cookies.

Barristers’ Privacy Notice

Data Controller - Who am I?

I collect, use and am responsible for personal information about you. When I do this I am the ‘controller’ of this information for the purposes of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you need to contact me about your data or the processing carried out you can use the contact details at the end of this document.

What do I do with your personal information?

Information collected from you
When carrying out the provision of legal services or providing a reference I collect personal information that you provide which may include any or all of the following:

  • personal details
  • family details
  • lifestyle and social circumstances
  • goods and services
  • financial details
  • education, training and employment details
  • physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious, philosophical or other beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • sex life or sexual orientation
  • genetic data
  • biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences, and related security measures
  • other personal data relevant to instructions to provide legal services, including data specific to the instructions in question

Information collected from others

I may also obtain the same categories of personal information listed above from third parties, such as other legal professionals or experts, members of the public, your family and friends, witnesses, courts and other tribunals, investigators, government departments, regulators, public records and registers.

How do I use your personal information?

I may use your personal information for the following purposes:

  • to provide legal services to my clients, including the provision of legal advice and representation in courts, tribunals, arbitrations, and mediations
  • to keep accounting records and carry out office administration
  • to take or defend legal or regulatory proceedings or to exercise a lien
  • to respond to potential complaints or make complaints
  • to check for potential conflicts of interest in relation to future potential cases
  • to promote and market my services
  • to carry out anti-money laundering and terrorist financing checks
  • to train other barristers and when providing work-shadowing opportunities
  • to respond to requests for references
  • when procuring goods and services
  • to publish legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals
  • as required or permitted by law.

Whether information has to be provided by you, and why

If I have been instructed by you or on your behalf on a case, or if you have asked for a reference, your personal information has to be provided, to enable me to provide you with advice or representation or the reference, and to enable me to comply with my professional obligations, and to keep accounting records.

The legal basis for processing your personal information

I rely on the following as the lawful bases on which I collect and use your personal information:

  • If you have consented to the processing of your personal information, then I may process your information for the Purposes set out above to the extent to which you have consented to me doing so.
  • If you are a client, processing is necessary for the performance of a contract for legal services or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract.
  • In relation to information which is in categories (g) to (o) above (these being categories which are considered to include particularly sensitive information and which include information about criminal convictions or proceedings) I rely on your consent for any processing for the purposes set out in purposes (ii), (iv), (vi), (viii) and (ix) above. I need your consent to carry out processing of this data for these purposes. However, if you do not consent to processing for purposes (iv) and (ix) (responding to potential complaints and providing a reference) I will be unable to take your case or to provide a reference. This is because I need to be able to retain all the material about your case until there is no prospect of a complaint and to provide an informed and complete reference.
  • In relation to information in categories (g) to (o) above (these being categories which are considered to be particularly sensitive information and include information about criminal convictions or proceedings), I am entitled by law to process the information where the processing is necessary for legal proceedings, legal advice, or otherwise for establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
  • In relation to information which is not in categories (g) to (o) above, I rely on my legitimate interest and/or the legitimate interests of a third party in carrying out the processing for the Purposes set out above.
  • In certain circumstances processing may be necessary in order that I can comply with a legal obligation to which I am subject (including carrying out anti-money laundering or terrorist financing checks).
  • The processing is necessary to publish judgments or other decisions of courts or tribunals.

Who will I share your personal information with?

If you are a client, some of the information you provide will be protected by legal professional privilege unless and until the information becomes public in the course of any proceedings or otherwise. As a barrister I have an obligation to keep your information confidential, except where it otherwise becomes public or is disclosed as part of the case or proceedings.

It may be necessary to share your information with the following:

  • data processors, such as my Chambers staff, email providers, data storage providers
  • other legal professionals
  • experts and other witnesses
  • prosecution authorities
  • courts and tribunals
  • trainee barristers
  • lay clients
  • family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing
  • in the event of complaints, the Heads of Chambers, Complaint Committee Members, other members of Chambers who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
  • other regulatory authorities
  • current, past or prospective employers
  • education and examining bodies
  • business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies, e.g. the Bar Council and Legal Directories.
  • the intended recipient, where you have asked me to provide a reference.
  • the general public in relation to the publication of legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals.

I may be required to provide your information to regulators, such as the Bar Standards Board, the Financial Conduct Authority or the Information Commissioner’s Office. In the case of the Information Commissioner’s Office, there is a risk that your information may lawfully be disclosed by them for the purpose of any other civil or criminal proceedings, without my consent or yours, which includes privileged information.

I may also be required to disclose your information to the police or intelligence services, where required or permitted by law.

Sources of information

The personal information I obtain may include information which has been obtained from:

  • other legal professionals
  • experts and other witnesses
  • prosecution authorities
  • courts and tribunals
  • trainee barristers
  • lay clients
  • family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing
  • in the event of complaints, the Head of Chambers, Complaints Committee members, other members of Chambers who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
  • other regulatory authorities
  • current, past or prospective employers
  • education and examining bodies
  • business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies, e.g. the Bar Council
  • the intended recipient, where you have asked me to provide a reference.
  • the general public in relation to the publication of legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals.
  • data processors, such as my Chambers staff, IT support staff, email providers, data storage providers
  • public sources, such as the press, public registers and law reports.

Transfer of your information outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

This privacy notice is of general application and as such it is not possible to state whether it will be necessary to transfer your information out of the EEA in any particular case or for a reference. However, if you reside outside the EEA or your case or the role for which you require a reference involves persons or organisations or courts and tribunals outside the EEA then it may be necessary to transfer some of your data to that country outside of the EEA for that purpose. If you are in a country outside the EEA or if the instructions you provide come from outside the EEA then it is inevitable that information will be transferred to those countries. If this applies to you and you wish additional precautions to be taken in respect of your information please indicate this when providing initial instructions.

Some countries and organisations outside the EEA have been assessed by the European Commission and their data protection laws and procedures found to show adequate protection. Most do not. If your information has to be transferred outside the EEA, then it may not have the same protections and you may not have the same rights as you would within the EEA.

I may transfer your personal information to the following which are located outside the European Economic Area (EEA):

  • cloud data storage services based in the USA who have agreed to comply with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, in order to enable me to store your data and/or backup copies of your data so that I may access your data when they need to. The USA does not have the same data protection laws as the EU but the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield has been recognised by the European Commission as providing adequate protection.  
  • cloud data storage services based in Switzerland, in order to enable me to store your data and/or backup copies of your data so that I may access your data when I need to. Switzerland does not have the same data protection laws as the EU but has been recognised by the European Commission as providing adequate protection. 

If I decide to publish a judgment or other decision of a Court or Tribunal containing your information then this will be published to the world.

I will not otherwise transfer personal information outside the EEA (except as necessary for providing legal services or for any legal proceedings).

If you would like any further information please use the contact details at the end of this document.

How long will I store your personal data?

I will normally store all your information:

  • Until at least 1 year after the expiry of any relevant limitation period (which will usually be 15 years as recommended by my insurers), from the date of the last item of work carried out, the date of the last payment received or the date on which all outstanding payments are written off (whichever is the latest). This is because it may be needed for potential legal proceedings or subject to a complaint. At this point any further retention will be reviewed and the data will be marked for deletion or marked for retention for a further period. The latter retention period is likely to occur only where the information is needed for legal proceedings, regulatory matters or active complaints. Deletion will be carried out (without further notice to you) as soon as reasonably practicable after the data is marked for deletion.
  • I will store some of your information where I need to carry out conflict checks for the rest of my career. However, this is likely to be limited to your name and contact details/ the name of the case. This will not include any information within categories (g) to (o) above.
  • Information related to anti-money laundering checks will be retained until five years after the completion of the transaction or the end of the business relationship, whichever is the later.
  • Names and contact details held for marketing purposes will be stored indefinitely or until I or my clerks become aware or are informed that the individual has ceased to be a potential client.

Consent

As explained above, I am relying on your explicit consent to process your information in categories (g) to (o) above. You provided this consent when you agreed that I would provide legal services/you asked me to provide a reference.

You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time, but this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing activity I have carried out prior to you withdrawing your consent. However, where I also rely on other basis for processing your information, you may not be able to prevent processing of your data. For example, if you have asked me to work for you and I have spent time on your case, you may owe me money which I will be entitled to claim.

If there is an issue with the processing of your information, please contact my clerks using the contact details below.

Your rights

Under the GDPR, you have a number of rights that you can exercise in certain circumstances. These are free of charge. In summary, you may have the right to:

  • ask for access to your personal information and other supplementary information
  • ask for correction of mistakes in your data or to complete missing information I hold on you
  • ask for your personal information to be erased, in certain circumstances
  • receive a copy of the personal information you have provided to me or have this information sent to a third party. This will be provided to you or the third party in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format, e.g. a Word file
  • object at any time to processing of your personal information for direct marketing
  • object in certain other situations to the continued processing of your personal information
  • restrict my processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

If you want more information about your rights under the GDPR please see the Guidance from the Information Commissioners Office on Individual’s rights under the GDPR.

If you want to exercise any of these rights, please:

  • use the contact details at the end of this document
  • I may need to ask you to provide other information so that you can be identified
  • please provide a contact address so that you can be contacted to request further information to verify your identity
  • provide proof of your identity and address
  • state the right or rights that you wish to exercise.

I will respond to you within one month from when I receive your request.

Marketing emails

Please note if you wish to unsubscribe from any marketing emails that you receive from Chambers, you can do so emailing marketing@gclaw.co.uk (subject line ‘unsubscribe’). It may take up to one week for this to become effective.

How to make a complaint?

The GDPR also gives you the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners’ Office if you are in the UK, or with the supervisory authority of the Member State where you work, normally live or where the alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted at ico.org.uk/concerns/.

Future processing

I do not intend to process your personal information except for the reasons stated within this privacy notice. If this changes, this privacy notice will be amended and placed on my website page.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was published on 23 May 2018 and last updated on 20 November 2019.

I continually review my privacy practices and may change this policy from time to time. When I do it will be placed on my website page.

Contact details

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or the information I hold about you, please contact me or the Director of Operations and Human Resources, Mia Hakl-Law on miah@gclaw.co.uk.

 

Quality Policy

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.

 

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Complaints Procedure

OUR MISSION

1. In the event that you a lay client, a professional client or a member of the public is dissatisfied with the treatment they 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 possible by telephone. 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 is one made in writing, including by email to info@gclaw.co.uk, which is addressed to the Complaints Committee. 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 by the Director of Operations and Human Resources within seven working days of receipt.

7. The barrister or staff member complained about will be informed about the complaint by the Director of Operations and Human Resources as soon as the complaint is received. A letter will be sent to the barrister or staff member within 14 days of the complaint informing them who has been appointed.

8. It is the job of the Complaints Committee to determine what has gone wrong.  Your complaint will be allocated to a member of the Complaints Committee for investigation. You should receive a full written response within four weeks. If it is not possible to meet the  deadline the Director of Operations and HR will write to you and inform you when the investigation is expected to be concluded.

10. The member of the Complaints Committee investigating your complaint will have access to all the relevant documents, will be able to interview witnesses, if necessary, and may need to contact you for further information.

11. The Complaints Committee member will then produce a report determining the complaint.   

12. We will inform you whether the complaint is upheld or rejected, setting out the reasons why. When a complaint is upheld the letter will set out or include a proposal for resolving the complaint.

CONFIDENTIALITY

13. 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

14. As part of our commitment to client care, we keep a record of all complaints made and the outcomes. Our Complaints Committee may inspect this record regularly to ensure compliance with our procedure and with a view to improving the service we provide.  Our Complaints Committee 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 TO THE LEGAL OMBUDSMAN

15. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our handling of your complaint you may pursue your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman is not able to consider your complaint until it has firstly been made to Chambers under the above procedure.  Please note that the Legal Ombudsman has a twelve-month time limit from the date of the act or omission about which you are complaining.  The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted on 0300 555 0333 or if calling from overseas on +44 121 245 3050.  Alternatively you can write to:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 15870
Birmingham
B30 9EB

Or email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk 

Please see www.legalombudsman.org.uk for further information.

Data on all complaints that have been resolved by the Legal Ombudsman can be found here.

 

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. We won Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019

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

  1. Garden Court is committed to equal opportunities and tackling discrimination.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. We recognise that to achieve equality of access and service delivery, positive steps will be required to eliminate discrimination.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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. In 2019, we were awarded Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion at the Chambers Bar 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: Ann Osborne, Anya Lewis, Connor Johnston, Gemma Loughran, Helen Curtis, Irena Sabic, Jo Cecil, Marina Sergides, Mark Gatley, Mukhtiar Singh, and Paul Clark.

Applications for the scheme are currently only open to the students of the three participating schools, Oaklands School, Walworth Academy and Plumstead Manor.

To find out more about the scheme, contact Mia Hakl-Law, Director of Operations and Human Resources on +44(0)20 7993 7662 or by emailing miah@gclaw.co.uk

 

Awards

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

Chambers UK Bar 2020: Top Ranked
Legal 500 2020: Top Tier Set
Chambers Bar Awards 2019: winner
UK Diversity Legal Awards 2019

Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust

Following the tragic death of young barrister Inderpal Rahal a charitable trust has been established in her memory, to enable women experiencing financial hardship to further their legal education. The trust applies to women who are from an immigrant or refugee background and who intend to practise or teach law in the UK.

Each summer, the Trust makes one, or occasionally two, awards of £2,000 towards undertaking or pursuing Bar or solicitors’ exams, pupillage, solicitors’ training, or other legal placement or research in the UK or abroad. Please note that no awards will be made towards the taking of a first degree in law.

If you feel that you might be eligible for consideration for an award, please email irmt@gclaw.co.uk to obtain an application form.

Applications have now closed for the 2020 award.

Annual timetable

  • Application forms circulated in March
  • Closing date late April
  • Shortlisting/interviewing in May/June

Our friendly and efficient staff are ready to help you.

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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