As professionals committed to delivering excellent service, we are open and transparent in our dealings with clients, potential members, employees and service providers.
In line with this commitment, we are pleased to publish the policies we adhere to in all our business dealings.
For information around our diversity and inclusion policies, please click here.
Click here to find out more about the services we offer, who we can accept instructions from, our fees, timescales and the Bar Standards Board’s register of barristers.
From 31 January 2013, the Bar’s Standard Non-Contractual Terms (Annexe G1 to the Bar’s Code of Conduct) are no longer deemed to be the applicable terms on which instructions are accepted. Instructions that were accepted prior to 31 January 2013 will continue to be governed by the Standard Non-Contractual Terms upon which they were accepted.
The professional bodies of the Commercial Bar and city law firms, COMBAR and The City Of London Law Society (CLLS), have negotiated and agreed a set of specimen terms and conditions which seek to balance the interests of barristers and solicitors. These terms are known as the ‘General Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Solicitors in Commercial Matters’, now in their third version (“the Terms”). A full copy of the terms is available here.
New instructions to members of Fountain Court Chambers, unless otherwise agreed, will be accepted and any work undertaken by members will be pursuant to the Terms and subject to Basis A (Solicitor Liability) under clause 9 of the Terms payable at the relevant member’s usual hourly rate (details of which are readily available from his or her clerk). Limitation of general liability is set at £60 million save from where a different limit is expressly agreed.
A modified version of the Terms will, unless otherwise agreed, apply for members based in our Singapore office. Further information relating to this can be found here.
In accordance with our professional obligations, members of Fountain Court Chambers will, on request, also be prepared to accept instructions in accordance with the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020, prepared by the Bar Council, referred to at Rule rC30.9c of the BSB Handbook and available online.
Fountain Court Chambers has a policy on information barriers to ensure that the confidentiality requirements of the Bar Code of Conduct are met and that confidentiality is maintained by barristers, clerks and other members of staff.
When a barrister is instructed on a new case, a clerk or clerk team are allocated (which will normally be the barrister’s usual clerk/clerk team, subject to paragraph 2.1. below) and the barrister’s instructing solicitors are informed as to who their point of contact within the clerking team is.
Clerks/clerk teams have access to private rooms if they have to make telephone calls that are confidential. Clerks/clerk teams will maintain the confidentiality of all confidential information about a case.
1.2. Distribution of papers
We ensure that care is taken so that papers are kept confidential to the barrister working on the case; papers/ faxes are promptly delivered to the barrister in question and placed in his/her room: please note it is not acceptable for the clerks to leave papers in barristers’ pigeon holes unless the papers are in a pack or sealed.
It is also the duty of any barrister not to leave sensitive documents in a position where they might be viewed by another person. Members each:
The clerks operate a regular sweep of Chambers’ printers, whereby any papers left on a printer are removed unread and placed in the barrister’s room or destroyed. Note that is a fail-safe system, and no papers should be found on any sweep. The primary sources of protection are set out above. All printing must use secure methods which do not involve confidential documents being at risk of being read by third parties.
We maintain an electronic diary system (LEX) which is in common use across the Bar.
Each member only has access to his/her own individual diary.
Where papers are sent to a barrister but the barrister is not able to accept the instructions (for example because they are conflicted, unavailable etc) then the barrister will not be shown on the diary system as an active barrister on the case and the barrister will not be able to access any confidential information about the case.
Access to barristers’ diaries by members of staff is limited to appropriate personnel only.
Chambers do not print a daily diary page.
1.4. Returning papers
Right up to the conclusion of a case Fountain Court take care to ensure that confidentiality is not breached by things not being securely disposed of; we will always contact the instructing solicitor in advance and offer either a secure shredding service (suitable where the documents are not required to be held by the solicitor under the Solicitor’s professional duties) or return the papers to the instructing solicitor.
2. Specific provisions applicable when Fountain Court’s barristers are instructed on opposite sides in the same case, or act as arbitrators in cases where members of our chambers are involved as counsel for one or other of the parties
Fountain Court’s barristers often find themselves instructed on opposite sides in the same case, or a member may act as an arbitrator in a case where members of our chambers are involved as counsel for one or other of the parties. We maintain a strict policy in relation to client confidentiality both at member and clerk level, and we recognise the need to be careful to protect each client’s best interests and each client’s confidential information.
When a case comes into chambers it is identified as to whether or not it is a case where a barrister(s) in Chambers is/are already acting for another part(ies) in the case, or as arbitrator(s) in the case. Where this occurs a clerk, or clerk team are allocated to the new case (which must be a different clerk or clerk team to the clerk(s) or clerk team(s) already allocated to the barrister(s) acting for other part(ies) in the case) and all parties’ instructing solicitors are informed as to who their point of contact within the clerking team is. We operate an information barrier between each clerking team.
Please be aware in some instances a party will not want the opposing party to know that they have instructed counsel and/or that they have instructed counsel in Chambers. The clerking team and the barrister(s) in question will preserve any such wish for confidentiality. We have a list of cases where there are members of chambers acting for one or more different parties which is held confidentially so that Reception / other clerks and staff know where to direct calls and who to pass papers to so that our service to the client is carried out to the highest standard possible, and protecting confidentiality. Please note, as stated above, clerks also have access to private rooms if they have to make telephone calls that are confidential.
Should a member of the clerking team be away from Chambers ‘out of office’ email and voicemail accounts inform the sender or leaver of a message of that fact. Clerks do not have access to the email or voicemail accounts of other clerks.
In arbitration cases members of chambers will inform those appointing them if they are aware that another member of chambers has already been appointed as an arbitrator or is already acting for a party in the case. The same applies in cases where an Arbitrator is being appointed after Counsel has already been instructed.
We encourage solicitors where there are particular sensitivities to give a case a project name, so that in the barrister’s diary the project name is all that will appear.
2.3. Discussions amongst members of Chambers
Barristers on opposing sides of the case will not discuss the matter, unless on a formal basis in accordance with their duties under their instructions. When communicating with their clerk or another member of Chambers precautions are taken to ensure that discretion is used and the conversation takes place outside of a common place and in private so that the contents of the discussion remain confidential.
Our Clerking teams are happy to discuss your requirements in confidence, and will promptly and efficiently deal with any enquiries you may have. Please contact Alex Taylor, Senior Clerk on +44 (0)20 7842 3706, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to make a complaint
At Fountain Court, we aim to provide a high-quality service. If, however, you are dissatisfied with our service or have any other complaint, we would like to know about it. That enables us to address your complaint and to seek to improve the services we provide.
If you have a complaint, you are encouraged to let us know as soon as possible. You may make a complaint by telephone or in writing. If you wish your complaint to be dealt with by a person who has not previously been involved in the matter, we prefer the complaint to be made in writing, even if only in a short email, as that enables us to investigate the background before responding; but you may, if you wish, raise the matter by telephone, and you should do so particularly if the matter requires immediate or prompt resolution.
To make a complaint, please contact the barrister concerned or, if the complaint is about a member of staff, please contact the Senior Clerk (Alex Taylor). If you wish your complaint to be considered at a more senior level, please write to, or ask to speak to, the Head of Chambers.
If the discussion is by telephone, the person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. That person will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved, he or she will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome, and record that you are satisfied. You may yourself wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.
If your complaint is not resolved by the person you are complaining about, the Senior Clerk or (as the case may be) the Head of Chambers, you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 14 days so that it can be investigated, or investigated further, by the Head of Chambers. When writing, please state your name and address, which member or members of chambers or staff you are complaining about, and what you would like done about it.
If you wish the Head of Chambers to consider your complaint, please address your letter to:
The Head of Chambers
If your complaint concerns the Head of Chambers, it will be handled by the deputy Head of Chambers or the most senior member of Chambers who is not the Head of Chambers.
We aim to respond to complaints within 14 days. If this is not going to be possible, we shall let you know indicating why and setting a new date for our response.
When your complaint has been investigated and considered, the Head of Chambers (or the person identified in paragraph 7) will reply to you, setting out the nature and scope of the investigation carried out, the conclusion reached on the complaint and the basis for reaching that conclusion and, if he considers the complaint to be justified, his proposals for resolving the complaint.
If your complaint involves a matter which may give rise to an insurance claim, the barrister will be obliged to inform his or her insurers, who will then need to be consulted before any proposals can be put to you to resolve your complaint. This may affect the speed with which we are able to respond to complaints in these circumstances.
All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary to address the complaint. In addition to the person(s) complained about, in most cases such disclosure is likely to extend to the Head of Chambers, the Senior Clerk and the Head of Administration.
As part of our commitment to quality of service and client care, a central written record of complaints is reviewed regularly and any points arising which indicate a need for us to adjust an existing practice or procedure will be considered. Records will be disposed of in accordance with our Chambers’ retention policies which can be found here.
We hope that you will use our procedure if you have a complaint you wish to make. However, if you would rather not do so, or are unhappy with the outcome, you have the option of taking your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or to the Bar Standards Board.
From 6 October 2010, the Legal Ombudsman has the responsibility for dealing with complaints from our clients about the quality of our service. The Ombudsman will expect us to try to address such complaints in the first instance but will step in if that proves not to be possible. The Legal Ombudsman can only deal with complaints from consumers. (The Legal Ombudsman can also deal only with complaints from individuals and certain other entities.) This means that only complaints from a client of a member of Chambers are within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. Non-clients should contact the Bar Standards Board (the body that regulates the professional conduct of barristers) rather than the Legal Ombudsman. Chambers is not always able to investigate satisfactorily complaints made by non-clients and may refer such complainants to the Bar Standards Board.
The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:
The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 15870
The Legal Ombudsman will only consider complaints received within the following time limits:
six years from the date of the act or omission complained of; or
three years from the date on which the complainant should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint (if the act or omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago); and
within six months of the complainant receiving a final response from his or her lawyer, if that response complies with the requirements of rule 4.4 of the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules (which requires the response to include an explanation that the Legal Ombudsman was available if the complainant remained dissatisfied, the provision of full contact details for the Ombudsman and a warning that the complaint must be referred to the Ombudsman within six months).
The Legal Ombudsman can extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. We will have regard to the applicable time limit in deciding whether we are able to investigate any complaint. We will not normally deal with a complaint that falls outside the time limit applicable to a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are not a client of Chambers, or if your complaint is about the professional conduct of one of our barristers rather than about the quality of our service, then it would be more appropriate to address your complaint to the Bar Standards Board (the regulatory body for barristers). The contact details for the Bar Standards Board are as follows:
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
Tel: 020 7611 1444
Fax: 020 7831 9217
This policy is intended to comply with rule 403.5(d) and Annex S of the Bar Standards Board Code of Conduct and will be operated in accordance with those provisions.
Further information on the application of this policy to members based in our Singapore office can be found here.
1.1 This notice explains how Fountain Court Chambers, each of the tenants, door tenants and pupil barristers who practice from these chambers (“Barrister”) and our Singapore office collect, store, use, disclose and safeguard personal data. It further explains how you can access or change the personal data that we hold about you.
1.2 Fountain Court Chambers operates through various different entities, as explained below. This notice is provided on behalf of the following:
1.3 As is apparent, the controller of your personal data might be an individual Barrister, an English company, or if you deal with our Singapore office, a Singapore company or companies.
1.4 This notice is governed by applicable data protection laws and regulations, including the Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”) and the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
1.5 We will review this notice periodically, with any updated notice posted to the Fountain Court website. This notice is effective from 25 May 2018 and was last updated on 1 November 2023.
2. DEFINITIONS USED IN THIS NOTICE
2.1 These words and terms are defined in the GDPR and in the DPA, and are briefly explained here:
2.2 We use the term “Chambers” to mean any of the controllers identified above.
3. PERSONAL DATA THAT WE HOLD
3.1 If you instruct Chambers to provide legal services, we will hold the information you have given us to enable those legal services to be provided. This may include your contact details, your payment details (including any payments made) and the information contained in any instructions you, or your solicitor, provide. Personal data may also be obtained relating to clients or other parties from a range of other sources, such as other legal professionals, lay and professional clients of Barristers, witnesses and experts (and potential witnesses or experts), external service providers, prosecution and regulatory authorities, courts and tribunals and publicly available information. We may also hold your personal data if it has been given to us by our clients, or if we have obtained it from another source, in order to provide legal services to our clients.
3.2 If you apply to Chambers for a job, mini-pupillage, pupillage, tenancy, secondment, work shadowing or mentoring opportunities, we will hold the information you provided to us for the purposes of that application and any personal data collected in the course of taking references in support of an application or undertaking other checks in connection with the application.
3.3 We may ask you to provide your personal data when you request information through the Fountain Court website, or register for an event, which we may then store and use. The details we may ask for, or gather, include:
3.4 The information provided may be used to contact you by email or post and in order to facilitate your access to, or involvement in, the relevant events.
3.5 For information on what is collected through cookies on our website, our cookies policy is available here.
4. WHO CONTROLS YOUR PERSONAL DATA?
If your information is being used by a Barrister in connection with the provision of legal services, your information will be controlled by that Barrister.
Otherwise, your information will be controlled by one or more of the entities described in section 1 above. We have appointed a single point of contact for data protection concerns in relation to any of them. You can find these contact details in section 12 below.
5. THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE BARRISTERS AND OTHER CONTROLLERS MAY USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
5.1 Where the processing is undertaken by one of the Barristers:
5.2 Where Chambers allocates a particular instruction to a Barrister, FCC, FCCO and/or FCO is the controller of the data that it holds, and the Barrister then becomes a controller in respect of the personal data passed to him or her, and for the personal data the Barrister collects in the course of providing legal services.
5.3 The legal basis for such processing in the cases referred to in section 5.2 is:
5.4 Processing undertaken by one or more of the Barristers and/or the other controllers may also be for the purposes of:
5.5 The legal basis for such processing in the cases referred to in section 5.4 is:
5.6 We may also lawfully process your information for the purposes of a legitimate interest of the person controlling your data, or another person, except where such interests are overridden by your fundamental rights and freedoms which require the protection of your personal data. These legitimate interests include:
6. WHO MAY ACCESS YOUR PERSONAL DATA
6.1 The personal data we obtain will be accessed by Barristers, clerks and other employees, support staff and agents of Chambers, as far as is necessary for the purposes described above. In addition, we may disclose your personal data to:
6.2 Except as provided in this privacy notice, we will not supply your personal data to third parties.
7. HOW LONG WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
7.1 If there is no legal requirement for us to store your personal data, we will delete it:
7.2 Where we are legally required to store your personal data, we will store it for as long as we are required to do so. We may also retain documents which contain your personal data for the purposes of legal research where it is not practicable to remove your personal data.
8. FAILURE TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DATA
8.1 If you are a client or a prospective client of Chambers or any Barrister, your failure to provide personal data when requested may result in the Barrister being unable to provide you with the legal services you seek.
8.2 If you apply to Chambers for a job, mini-pupillage, pupillage, tenancy, secondment, work shadowing or mentoring opportunities, your failure to provide personal data when requested may result in Chambers being unable to consider or progress your application.
9. SECURITY OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA
9.1 We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We take appropriate technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal data.
10. WHERE YOUR PERSONAL DATA WILL BE SENT
10.1 This notice is of general application and as such it is not possible to state whether it will be necessary to transfer personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) in any particular case. In some cases, we may transfer personal data to a country outside the EEA, for example where the Barrister’s instructions come from outside the EEA or it is necessary to communicate with someone outside the EEA in relation to those instructions, or where the Barrister needs to work while not located in the EEA.
10.2 Some countries and organisations outside the EEA have been determined by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of data protection. The list can be found here. Most non-EEA countries have not been assessed by the European Commission to provide adequate protection. If personal data has to be transferred outside the EEA, then it may not have the same protections and the person to whom it relates may not have the same rights as would be the case within the EEA. If we cannot rely on any of the available derogations to the general prohibitions on transfer of personal data outside the EEA, we will seek to make sure that you are aware of, and agree to, the transfer of data to outside of the EEA.
10.3 If we need to process your data for the purposes of our Singapore office, or legal services provided from that office, we may transfer it to Singapore. If we do so, it will be transferred to FC Singapore (and/or APLP if the Barrister instructed is Andrew Pullen in Singapore) on terms which provide equivalent data protections to those your data would have if it were held in the UK.
11. YOUR RIGHTS
11.1 Subject to certain legal conditions, you have the right to:
11.2 If you have given us your consent to use your information, you also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, although this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing activity carried out prior to the withdrawal of consent or prevent us from processing your data if we have another basis for doing so.
11.3 We may not be able to give you access to your personal data if doing so would infringe the rights or freedoms of others. In particular, we will not be able to give you access to your personal data if we hold it under an obligation of confidentiality to our client, or in circumstances where legal professional privilege applies.
11.4 All of your rights are fully set out in GDPR and the DPA, which also explain any conditions that attach to your rights, and any exemptions that might apply.
11.5 Please note that, if you request to exercise any of the rights set out above, we will first require you to provide appropriate evidence of your identity: we will usually accept a photocopy of your passport or driving licence photocard, plus a copy of a utility bill (dated within the last 3 months) showing your current address.
11.6 If you are dissatisfied with the way we respond to your request, you should first complain to the Head of Chambers, and you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner.
12. WHO YOU SHOULD CONTACT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL DATA
12.1 Any queries about personal data held by Chambers, any of the controllers identified above, or any of its Barristers (including any requests to exercise the rights set out above), or any questions, comments or requests regarding this privacy notice, should be made to:
Data Protection Manager
Fountain Court Chambers
or by email to email@example.com.
12.2 You have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner about the way we process your personal data. The Information Commissioner’s contact details are:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113
The Information Commissioner’s website is at: www.ico.org.uk.