Frequently Asked Questions

All FAQs

Do you accept 'no win no fee' cases?


We do not accept 'no win no fee' (otherwise known as conditional fee agreement) cases/projects.




What fields of law do you currently cover?


Just take a look at our Services page. Not only do we offer 'traditional' legal advice, we can:

  • support your Senior Leadership Teams in shaping policy
  • play active roles in your organisation as independent 3rd parties (such as chairing hearings, investigations and interviews and attending Board meetings) and
  • provide coaching and mentoring to your senior leaders and their teams.
Our barristers have previously specialised in numerous areas of law and have a range of 'real world' organisational experience. All of this feeds into the input we can have into your organisation. Just take a look at our Head of Chambers' profile and you'll see what we mean!




Can you describe the key stages and timescales of our case/project?


When you first instruct us, we set out the key stages and timescales for your case/project via our communications with you by phone calls, emails or our invoice. As timescales may shift, we do not limit our communications with you to the start of our work - we update you on a regular basis, so as to manage your expectations and to enable you to make informed decisions.




Are you insured?


We have appropriate professional liability insurance. Greycoat Law is insured by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and its membership number is 8121-002. You can contact the Fund here: https://www.barmutual.co.uk/contact-us/




When did you last review this website?


The last review took place in January 2021 in order to confirm that we are complying with all Bar Standards Board requirements.




Are you on the Barristers' Register?


Yes. The link to the Barristers’ Register page on the BSB’s website is https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers’-register/ The BSB’s Barristers’ Register shows: (1) who has a current practising certificate, and (2) whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings, which are published on the Barristers’ Register. We hope that this helps you to make an informed decision about whom to instruct.




Are you registered with the Information Commissioner's Office?


We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office, our registration number is ZA058978. You can check our registration here. Enter the name of our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram and our address: 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT.




Can we take out insurance to cover our legal fees?


The Legal Choices and the Which? websites can provide you with information about both 'before the event' insurance and 'after the event' insurance. For example, you may already have access to free legal advice through your trade union or home insurance policy. Take a look at the Legal Choices website here: https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/money-talks/after-the-event-insurance Or the Which? website here: https://www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/legal-expenses-insurance




Can you guide us to further sources of support and advice?


Information about further sources of support and advice: Advice UK: a network of advice centres across the country Advocate: free advice and representation on legal matters (applications-based). Contact: 020 7092 3960 Citizens Advice: free, independent and impartial advice on a range of issues and rights. Advice Line: 03444 111 444 (England); 03444 77 20 20 (Wales) Law Centres Network: search for local law centres in England Law Works: connects people in need of legal advice with lawyers who are able to help for free. Searchable directory of local legal advice clinics in England and Wales Personal Support Unit: provides advice, information and support for litigants in person (those representing themselves in court) Telephone: 020 7073 4760 Samaritans: helpline support for anyone who wants to talk to someone about the problems they are facing in their life Helpline: 116 123 The Money Advice Service: free, confidential advice about managing finances and dealing with debts Advice line: 0800 138 7777




Can you represent us in Court or Tribunal?


We do not manage the litigation process as our focus is on preventing it. Our role is to assist you in ensuring that your organsiation is compliant and up to date with best practice so that litigation can be avoided. If, whilst working with you, it becomes apparent that you will need to enter into litigation, we will discuss the various options open to you. These could include using your current arrangements for legal representation or, if you would prefer, we can help you to identify external lawyers or Counsel to take your matter forward. With most organisations we work with. they will have their preferred methods of instructing lawyers or may have their own internal legal teams.




Do you accept legal aid cases?


We are not able to accept legal aid cases as we are direct access barristers and the type of work we do does not usually lend itself to Legal Aid funding. It is always worth checking to see if you are entitled to Legal Aid and, if in doubt to find a legal services provider that can find out if you are eligible for it. To find out more about legal iad in general, click here: https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid Here is a link to the legal aid eligibility calculator on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid/eligibility




Do you cater for people with disabilities and translation requirements?


Please do contact us with your specific needs. We'd be more than happy to assist in making reasonable adjustments. For example, we have previously retained the services of a translator for a client whose first language was Romanian. With a client with mobility issues, we met them at a place that was easily accessible for them. For a client with dyslexia, we provided them with printed information on pastel paper. We can make similar accommodations for you if you let us know what they are. Reagrding access to our premises, we have a lift and toilet facilities. We do not have car parking, as we are in Central London, but we are easily accessible via Temple underground station on the District line or Holborn station on the Central line. Holborn station has escalators, whereas Temple does not, so Holborn may be preferable for those who are unable to use stairs easily.




Do you charge for providing quotations?


No, we do not.




Do you charge VAT?


We charged VAT from May 2016 up until July 2019, but, from that point onwards, after restructuring our business, we have not been charging VAT




Do you use ADR services?


We do not use an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) service for our work, as it is not generally applicable to the type of work that we do. We are open to using ADR services, however, in relation to any complaint made against us. For this, we would use The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).




Do you use any third party payment services?


Barristers are not permitted to hold client money and some therefore use third party payment services for making payment to, from, or on behalf of their clients. We do not use any third party payment service, as the way in which we operate does not require us to hold client money. Generally, if there are additional costs generated by third parties, such as expert witnesses, our clients pay them directly.




How are your offices run?


Our administrative support is provided by our Administrative Team. Their role is to take all administrative work away from the legal and consultancy teams so that the lawyers, consultants and assistant paralegals can focus on doing client work. It will usually be the Administrative Team who contact you to arrange meetings, run through administrative issues with you or deal with your basic queries. As it is not a barrister or consultant who is doing this work, clients are charged for this work at a much lower rate than the legal and consultancy teams and it is a cost saving that clients can then benefit from.




How can we contact you?


Call us on +44 (0)20 8989 9111 Email us at: adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk Write to us at: Greycoat Law, The Strand, London, WC2R 1AT




How can we find out about a barrister's practising status?


The link to the Barristers’ Register page on the Bar Standard's Board website is: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/search-a-barristers-record/the-barristers-register.html The Bar Standard's Board Barristers’ Register shows: (1) who has a current practising certificate, and (2) whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings This will help you to make to make informed decisions about whom to instruct. Alternatively, you can contact the Bar Standards Board on +44 (0) 20 7611 1444 to ask about this or e-mail: ContactUs@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk




How can we find out about Public Access Guidance for Lay clients?


We accept public access work from lay clients in the all of areas of work that we offer:

  • Employment Law
  • Professional misconduct
  • Sexual impropriety
  • Safeguarding
  • Child protection
  • Diveristy & Inclusion
  • Hearings, investigations & interviews (complaints, grievances, disciplinaries & recruitment)
  • Leadership coaching & mentoring
The Bar Standards Board produces guidance for lay clients to explain how the Public Access scheme works, and to show how members of the public (“lay clients”) can use it to instruct barristers directly. https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/uploads/assets/20f0db2a-a40c-4af9-95b1b9557ad748e9/Public-Access-Guidance-for-Lay-Clients.pdf The Public Access scheme allows members of the public to instruct a barrister directly. In the past it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor to instruct a barrister.




How can we find out about your Legal Ombudsman record?


Take a look at this link to the decision data on the Legal Ombudsman's website: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/data-centre/ombudsman-decision-data/ Alternatively, you can contact Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 to ask about us or e-mail enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk The decision data shows providers that received an Ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months. In each case, the data shows whether the Legal Ombudsman required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. You can see whether our Head of Chambers or any barristers we work with were required to provide any remedies in the previous 12 months. This will help you to make an informed decision about instructing us.




How can we obtain key information from you in an alternative format?


Please contact us so that we can cater for your needs, for example, by posting you a hard copy of key information to you : adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form on this page




How do we go about booking a 1 hour virtual consultation?


When you first contact us, a member of our team will contact you to find out more about your case/project: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case/project and so on. If we consider it appropriate for you, we will offer you a 1 hour virtual consultation. We offer this with cases/projects where, for example:

  • a telephone or Skype consultation is the quickest and most cost effective way for you to have your queries addressed
  • you are handling the case/project internally and have specific questions that you do not have the expertise in-house to address yourselves
  • you are working to a budget and need general guidance about your situation
  • you would benefit from initial advice on your case/project before proceeding with ongoing and costly litigation/measures.​
Once you have made payment (see here for an up to date fee schedule) we will send you your invoice for your records and our registration documents for you to complete and scan back to us. Once we have received your registration documents, we complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity (if you are an indvidual) or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made and so on. We then liaise with you to book the first available date/time for your virtual consultation. We do attempt to book virtual consultations as soon as possible - they are subject to availability, so it is in your interests to complete the tasks you are required to complete expeditiously. ​ We usually offer virtual consultations within 48 hours of completion of the registration process and often sooner than this. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute. We cannot book consultations prior to the completion of the registration process and payment of our fee.




How do we go about booking you for 3 or 6 session consultations?


When you first contact us, a member of our team will contact you to find out more about your case/project: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case/project and so on. If we consider it appropriate for you, we will offer you either 3 or 6 session blocks of advice, depending on how much time we think your case/project will require. We offer this with cases/projects where, for example:

  • the case/project is complex
  • you require specialise advice
  • you are likely or wish to have continuing assistance going forward
  • relevant paperwork/media has to be read/processed in order to provide comprehensive advice
Once you have made payment (see here for an up to date fee schedule) we will send you your invoice for your records and our registration documents for you to complete and scan back to us. Once we have received your registration documents, we complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity (if you are an indvidual) or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made and so on. We then liaise with you to book the first available date/time for your consultations, which can be virtual or in person. We do attempt to book consultations in as soon as possible - they are subject to availability, so it is in your interests to complete the tasks you are required to complete expeditiously. ​ We usually offer consultations within 48 hours of completion of the registration process and often sooner than this. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute. We cannot book consultations prior to the completion of the registration process and payment of our fee.




How long will we have to wait for a quote?


We usually respond to general enquiries, including requests for quotations, within 1 business day or sooner. Once we have received sufficient background information from you to be able to provide a quote, we usually send detailed quotations within 2-3 business days or sooner.




How much do you charge?


It depends on what service you are looking for. We have categorised our fees in service packages that are both cost effective and precitable for clients. They are set out here. They are based on the type of service you want, the tasks required and the time they will take, with built in discounts for more or regular bookings. If you would like a quote for your work, we will provide you with one as soon as possible. We always aim to set out quotes clearly, but if you receive your quote and there is something you do not understand, please contact us. To obtain a quote contact us at: adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form on this page We operate on the basis of fixed fees, payable in advance. Prior to booking with us and, as part of our client registration process, you will receive a contract which contains a detailed explanation of how we manage fees and sets out all of your related rights and responsibilities. We do not offer 'no win no fee' services - you can find out why here. Note that fees are subject to change and are correct as at November 2020. Your work can sometimes attract additional fees if, for example, there is a large amount of paperwork, the case requires the input of specialist Counsel, it involves commercial or international elements and so on. We will advise you of this before confirming the fee. We do not bill per hour or in 6-minute increments as many other legal practices do and we do not charge an hourly rate or work by the hour. Our fixed fees cover all of the work required on your case, as well as the administrative tasks and occasional queries you may have. This not only gives you peace of mind when it comes to both quality of service and fees, it also enables us to spend as much time working on your case as we need to without being limited by costs. This enables us to provide a much more comprehensive service to you and ensures that we get both repeat and recommended clients in the future.




In what circumstances might our fees vary?


We charge fixed fees in advance and generally, we absorb the costs of any unexpected developments in your case that arise during our completion of the tasks set out in our invoice that might require more input from us on those tasks. For example, regardless of whether your case requires a lot of contact with other parties or a little, our fixed fee caters for that. We want to be able to best represent you without being constrained by the idea of having to charge you for every email we send and every phone call we make that is beyond the expectations of an average case. If additional tasks are required or additional hearings are scheduled, these are chargeable. For example, if we catered for interviewing a certain number of witnesses and we need to deal with more that we were not aware of at the begining of a case/project, we will discuss this with you so that we can decide together what the best course is and agree on fees for that work. If the nature of the case or the work required changes because you did not provide us with the full information detailed in the checklist that we always provide at the start of a case, then we might have to charge additional fees in those circumstances also if any additional paperwork or information means that the work we have to do on your case/project changes as a result.




Is there any flexibility on your fees?


We generally find that our fees are lower than average due to the fact that we have low overheads, however, if you have received a quote for similar work that is more competitive than ours, please call us to dicuss. Alternatively, you can try other legal providers or access free or subisidised legal advice/representation. We do not offer a 'no win, no fee' service. Please refer to the other FAQs for more information on the above: "Do you accept 'no win no fee' cases?" "What if we cannot afford your fees?" "What happens if you can't accept our case/project?"




What are your terms of business?


Our terms of business are based on the Bar Council's standard contractual terms, modified to provide additional detail reflecting our particular ways of working. Prior to booking with us, you will receive a client contract and our fee policy, amongst other registration documents that set out the terms applicable to the work we have agreed to do for you. You will have the opportunity of reading these and discussing them with us before instructing us and before making any payment.




What can we expect if we book a 1 hour virtual consultation?


You can expect to obtain advice from our Head of Chambers by telephone or Skype, date and time to be agreed. Prior to this, our administrative team will have had pre-consultation communications with you to find out more about your case: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case and so on. - The consultation with our Head of Chambers will last up to 60 minutes Note that it is largely unnecessary for us to read the background paperwork prior to the call, as we will have gleaned the key facts in our pre-consultation discussion with you. If you would like us to read any background paperwork before or after the consultation, or, if it becomes apparent that this will be necessary, there will be an additional charge for this. This is why we gain the core facts about your case from our pre-consultation discussion with you without charging for this aspect of our service, in order to keep your fee as low as possible.




What can we expect once we've retained you for a case/project?


You can expect a meeting with our Head of Chambers and posssibly, her Associate Counsel, who will be a specialist in the particular subject matter being discussed. The meeting will be held via telecon/videocon/in person, depending on what is most expedient for all parties and the options you have chosen. You will be given oral and/or written advice by our Head of Chambers/Associate Counsel on the following (where relevant):

  • Assessing your situation
  • Explaining how the law/best practice applies to your situation
  • Advising you on your options
  • Guiding you on any further information you may have to obtain
  • Agreeing your broad strategy in handling the situation
  • Setting out the immediate next steps




What factors might influence the timescales of a case/project?


It can be difficult to predict how long your case/project will take from beginning to end. However, for each piece of work that we do on your case/project, we will provide you with an estimate of how long it will take and give you deadlines for completion. We will also keep in touch with you on a regular basis to advise you of developments in your case/project that might affect timescales.

  • Factors that have an impact on the progress of a case/project include:
  • The availability of those working on your case - this will be discussed with you upon booking and we will keep you up to date with our availability.
  • Your own availability
  • The availability of relevant third parties, such as a witness or a Court/Tribunal official etc.
  • The complexity of your case.
  • The amount of paperwork involved.
  • The need for additional information or documents - sometimes, we are subject to the co-operation of others in this regard. For example, in obtaining medical reports.
  • The approach taken by relevant third parties - for example, they may be keen to settle or negotiate or may be inclined to pursue a matter to litigation, which will add to the time it will take to conclude.Third parties intervening in the case - on occasion, a third party may become involved. For example, in some cases where criminal allegations become apparent, the police may have to take over. Working with a third party can increase the timescales involved.
  • Court/Tribunal waiting times.




What happens to our paperwork/media after your work is done?


At the conclusion of our work on your case/project, we will offer you the option of having any paperwork/media that we have not already sent to you in e-version posted to you via ‘signed for’ delivery. You will have to pay for the administrative and postage costs associated with this. As we keep all clients updated on our communications with third parties on a regular basis, we will not send you copies of these communications. Should you request these in addition, you will have to pay for our administrative costs in collating, copying and sending you these. For compliance, GDPR, regulatory and practical reasons, we do not allow clients to either collect the above paperwork/media themselves nor to send a courier to do so. Should we not hear from you as to what you would like us to do with your paperwork/media within the deadline set for this process, we will scan and shred it.




What happens if you can't accept our case/project?


We will let you know as soon as possible, usually within:

  • 2-3 business days of receiving your request for a quote (if it is immediately apparent that we cannot accept your case/project) or
  • 2-3 business days of receiving background information on your case that we have reviewed.
In these circumstances, we suggest that you use the following sources:
Chambers and Partners: https://chambers.com/ The Legal 500: https://www.legal500.com/ Juriosity: https://www.juriosity.com/ The Direct Access Portal: https://www.directaccessportal.co.uk/




What happens once we've registered and paid?


Once we have received your registration documents, we: Complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made, whether we have received all of your case/project papers and so on. Assess who the best people to work on your case/project will be - this will be subject to who has the right level of expertise for your case/project and who is available once the initial internal checks have been made. Our Head of Chambers is always the key lawyer on your case/project and she works alongside the Admin Team and Head Office Team who deal with the administrative and legal administration of your case respectively. The Associate Counsel who will be the specialist barrister working on your case (if required) will be appointed from the small team of barristers with whom we work on a regular basis. As booking Associate Counsel is subject to the timing of when you have made payment and have passed our internal checks, we are unable, at the point of your enquiry, to confirm who Associate Counsel might be. However, we can assure you that they will be a senior barrister with specialist expertise in your case and someone who we have worked with before or whose reputation is known to us. ​​ We then prepare 'Instructions to Counsel' or a project brief for the team working on your case. This is an internal document prepared for the purposes of ensuring that everyone is fully appraised of the details of your case. It: a) Contains all of your case/project papers:

  • Copies of material documents;
  • Court/Tribunal or other regulator/enforcement body's documents including:
  • Formal pleadings; Affidavit of documents; Copies of interrogatories and answers; Any other affidavits; Orders
  • Copies of relevant correspondence;
  • Proofs of evidence/statements of witnesses or reports/communications from key players;
  • Any opinions of Counsel or other instructed professionals obtained earlier.
​​ b) 'Instructs' the team on what actions have to be taken in relation to your case/project e.g. giving oral or written advice, chairing a hearing, attending a Board meeting and so on c) Sets out the specific legal/best practice questions that have to be considered as well as flagging any other relevant information arising in relation to the case/project d) Includes a summary of the case/project, including all relevant facts and information which would enable the reader to understand the issue at hand e) Advises the reader of the evidence available to support your claim and whether facts and assertions can be verified in other ways f) Contains references to the relevant case law and any unusual points of law, with particular reference to the facts of the matter g) Highlights any concerns about any aspect of the case h) Summarises: the issues in dispute between the parties; the state of any settlement negotiations (if relevant)' the hearing date; and the need for a conference in person or via telecon/videocon ​​ i) Provides details of:​ The court; and The time of the conference/appearance/hearing (if applicable)​ We then liaise with you to book dates/times/take additional instructions and so on once we have established and briefed the team to working on your case/project. At that point, the actual work on your case/project begins in partnership with you. Note that, in order to do all of the preparation work we have to complete before the actual work on your case/project begins, it is preferable if you book with us as soon as possible, to give us sufficient time to complete this process thoroughly and efficiently. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute.




What happens once your work on our case/project is complete?


At the conclusion of your case/project, we will either come off record formally or limit our involvement to forwarding correspondence on your behalf. The timescales for response that apply to current clients will no longer apply to you, although we will use our best endeavours to respond to you in a timely and efficient manner.




What if we cannot afford your fees?


There are several avenues for assistance if you are on a tight budget. Your first point of call should be to check your various insurances to see if you have legal cover for your case/project. If you are an indvidual, you can also check whether you are part of an employee scheme or Trade Union (if relevant). You may also qualify for Legal Aid. Note that we do not run Legal Aid cases or 'no win no fee' cases, although there are many legal practices that do. There are other avenues of help that are worth exploring, you will have to check whether they represent individuals or organisations or both: Laworks University of Leicester University of Bolton Advocate The Free Representation Unit Queen Mary University of London Legal Advice Centre The University of Law Bristol Law Centre City Law School Manchester University The Citizens Advice Bureau ACAS University of Birmingham




What if we're not satisfied?


We are committed to giving an excellent service at all times to our lay and professional clients alike and to treat our team and all stakeholders with dignity and respect. However, we recognize that mistakes, misunderstandings, delays and other problems can occur. In the event that any of our clients or team are dissatisfied with the professional service or personal treatment they have received from any one of our team we take such matters very seriously and deal with it via our Complaints Policy attached here.




What if we want to make a complaint?


Our complaints procedure is set out in full here: https://bit.ly/2whDT1M You can complain to Legal Ombudsman if you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint, or if your complaint has not been dealt with in eight weeks. Here is the link for doing so: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ Clients who have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities. The full list of who has a right to complain to Legal Ombudsman is available on their website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/?faqs=who-can-use-our-service How to complain to Legal Ombudsman: You can contact them by:

  1. Telephone on 0300 555 0333
  2. Email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
  3. Use their complaint form
  4. Write to them at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
When you contact them it would help if you have:
  • Our name and address - Greycoat Law, 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT;
  • The date you first told us about your complaint;
  • The date you first became aware of the problem; and
  • Details of our response.
Ordinarily, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets ALL three of the steps below:
  • The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
  • You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following: six years of the problem happening or three years from when you found out about it; and
  • You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response.
You can find out more about the Legal Ombudsman here: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/




What is the nature of your business?


We are Greycoat Barristers' Chambers, as listed on The Bar Register and are registered a sole practitioner's barristers' chambers, trading as 'Greycoat Law'. Isabelle Parasram is our Head of Chambers. Where we work with other barristers, they are titled 'Associate Counsel'. They are not tenants (otherwise known as 'members') of our Chambers, but, rather, work with us on discrete pieces of work, such as drafting a specific document or attending a hearing. Where we use Associate Counsel, we inform you of this and provide you with their details before you instruct us. They are named in your invoice. You will also meet them, whether in person or virtually. We may also have administrative staff who deal with the administrative aspects of your case/project and Assistant Paralegals who deal with some of the straightforward administrative legal work, for example, spell checking witness statements or emailing Court documents.




What is your GDPR status?


Greycoat Law is committed to protecting the personal information you share with us. We have updated our privacy policy to ensure we continue to meet the high standards of the new European data protection law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can read our full policy by clicking here.

In the privacy policy you can find out more about what sort of information we collect from you and why, how we keep your data safe and how you can manage your personal information.
When you register with us as a client, you will receive information about GDPR and provide the relevant consents via your client contract. We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office, our registration number is ZA058978. You can check our registration here. Enter the name of our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram and our address: 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT.




What limitations apply to your services?


Our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram, is direct/public access qualified and is authorised to conduct litigation. We are therefore able to offer the full range of services you would receive if you instructed a solicitor and a barrister, with the following exceptions: We do not:

  • accept legal aid cases
  • operate on a 'no win no fee' basis
  • hold client money




What paperwork should we send to you prior to registering with you?


In the initial stages when we are trying to assess how best to serve you, we would request copies of the key documents, photographs, digital recordings and any other media that log:

  • evidence of what you are saying about your case/project
  • arguments presented by other parties about your case/project
  • communications with third parties about your case/project
  • any other relevant information
We will not need full disclosure by you of everything associated with your case/project until we have decided to accept you as a client and you have decided to proceed to the registration stage. At that point, we will provide you with a detailed quote/invoice as well as our registration documents to complete.




What pricing model do you use?


We charge fixed fees in advance and set out, in detail, what tasks we will complete on your case/project, by whom and for what cost. We also set out, in our invoice, what potential costs might arise in addition or during the next stage of your case/project and the circumstances in which your fees may attract additional costs.




What qualifications do your Head of Chambers/Associate Counsel have?


Our Head of Chambers and any *Associate Counsel she works with are members of the Bar of England and Wales, and are self-employed practitioners and Commissioners for Oaths. They:

  • are public/direct access barristers and most are litigation qualified, which means that they are able to take instructions directly from members of the public and to carry out most of the services that a solicitor would perform.
  • comply with the Code of Conduct for the Bar of England and Wales and are regulated by the Bar Standards Board. You can access our Bar Standards Board Handbook here.
  • have appropriate professional liability insurance.
Greycoat Law is insured by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and its membership number is 8121-002. * Associate Counsel are barristers with whom our Head of Chambers may work on your case/project. They are not members or tenants of Greycoat Law. They may be specialist Counsel or Counsel who can assist with a particularly complex, lengthy or weighty case/project. They are self-employed and work independently. They have a contract with Greycoat Law to carry out legal services for us on an ad hoc basis. If an Associate Counsel is working on your case/project, you will be informed of this at the outset or as soon as this becomes necessary. Their identity, contact details and bio will be shared with you and you will have the right not to proceed, to request an alternative or to continue. Your quotation will always state the amount from your fee that is payable to Associate Counsel. You will not have to pay them directly - the fixed fee that we quote you will cover all of their costs.




What should we send to you once we decide to book you?


Once we have decided to work together, we will need copies of all paperwork, photographs, digital recordings and any other media that logs:

  • evidence of what you are saying about your case/query
  • arguments presented by other parties about your case/query
  • communications with third parties about your case/query
  • any other relevant information
Please do not send us original documents – you should retain the originals as well as a copy of any paperwork that you send us, for your own records. You should note that the paperwork that you send to us will be for our own internal use and we will shred it once we are no longer instructed by you. You are responsible for keeping your own hard copy version and e-version. Details of what to send to us and how to send it will be sent to you with your invoice. Note that our invoice is largely based upon the information you send to us at this stage. If further information is disclosed, this may affect the fee you are required to pay for the completion of your work, as it may become apparent that additional tasks are required on your case/project, or our strategy may have to change or more work than anticipated may have to be completed on your behalf. Along with your invoice, we will send you our client registration documents, which we will ask that you scan back to us, along with any documents confirming your identity or that of your organisation.




What’s the difference between a barrister and a lawyer?


‘Lawyer’ is a general term that covers both solicitors and barristers.




What's the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?


A medical analogy might help to explain: a solicitor can be likened to a GP – a professional generalist who is used to dealing with a variety of problems and passing some of them on to more specialised experts. A barrister is like a consultant doctor – a specialist in one or more areas of the law, with in-depth expertise and experience. New regulations allow you to go direct to a specialist barrister without going through a solicitor, thus getting expert advice from the start and saving on the cost of the solicitor.




What type of clients do you serve?


We work with professional, licensed access, and lay clients. Examples of clients include:

  • Solicitors or other practising lawyers
  • Licensed Access clients, who may either hold a licence issued by the Bar Standards Board, or be a member of a professional body which has been recognised by the Bar Standards Board
  • Organisations such as companies, partnerships, charities, public sector organisations etc.
  • Members of the public who wish to instruct a barrister under the Public Access schemes
+44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form here




Where can we access independent information on our legal choices?


You can take a look at the Legal Choices website. It supports your legal choices by giving you independent and factual information about legal issues, lawyers and legal advisors Legal Choices is run by legal services regulators in England and Wales.




Where can we find more about barristers in general?


Just take a look at the Bar Council website.




Who is commonly involved in providing services?


When you first contact us via email or phone, you are likely to speak to one of our Admin Team. Following that, you might have an initial conversation with our Head of Chambers. The Admin Team will then send you our client registration documents which consist of:

  • Client contract
  • Fee policy
  • Authority to Act documentation
  • Joint representation disclaimer (if applicable)
Following this, your main contact will be with our Head of Chambers. At times, our Admin Team will correspond with you regarding admin queries or our paralegal team will contact you to get legal documents processed or to address simple legal queries. If an Associate Counsel is allocated to your case, you will work with them through our Head of Chambers and may meet them or work with them at meetings or in the course of your Case/Project. See also the question 'What happens once we've registered and paid?' for more details.




Why should we use a public/direct access barrister?


The public/direct access route means that you:

  • Save money without compromising on quality
  • Have access to specialisst legal expertise at a cheaper cost
  • Are able to manage your budget
  • Gain advice that will help to avoid litigation and minimise legal costs
  • Are in control of how we work together
The Bar Standards Board has produced guidance for direct access clients here.





Administration

How are your offices run?


Our administrative support is provided by our Administrative Team. Their role is to take all administrative work away from the legal and consultancy teams so that the lawyers, consultants and assistant paralegals can focus on doing client work. It will usually be the Administrative Team who contact you to arrange meetings, run through administrative issues with you or deal with your basic queries. As it is not a barrister or consultant who is doing this work, clients are charged for this work at a much lower rate than the legal and consultancy teams and it is a cost saving that clients can then benefit from.




What paperwork should we send to you prior to registering with you?


In the initial stages when we are trying to assess how best to serve you, we would request copies of the key documents, photographs, digital recordings and any other media that log:

  • evidence of what you are saying about your case/project
  • arguments presented by other parties about your case/project
  • communications with third parties about your case/project
  • any other relevant information
We will not need full disclosure by you of everything associated with your case/project until we have decided to accept you as a client and you have decided to proceed to the registration stage. At that point, we will provide you with a detailed quote/invoice as well as our registration documents to complete.




What should we send to you once we decide to book you?


Once we have decided to work together, we will need copies of all paperwork, photographs, digital recordings and any other media that logs:

  • evidence of what you are saying about your case/query
  • arguments presented by other parties about your case/query
  • communications with third parties about your case/query
  • any other relevant information
Please do not send us original documents – you should retain the originals as well as a copy of any paperwork that you send us, for your own records. You should note that the paperwork that you send to us will be for our own internal use and we will shred it once we are no longer instructed by you. You are responsible for keeping your own hard copy version and e-version. Details of what to send to us and how to send it will be sent to you with your invoice. Note that our invoice is largely based upon the information you send to us at this stage. If further information is disclosed, this may affect the fee you are required to pay for the completion of your work, as it may become apparent that additional tasks are required on your case/project, or our strategy may have to change or more work than anticipated may have to be completed on your behalf. Along with your invoice, we will send you our client registration documents, which we will ask that you scan back to us, along with any documents confirming your identity or that of your organisation.




What happens once your work on our case/project is complete?


At the conclusion of your case/project, we will either come off record formally or limit our involvement to forwarding correspondence on your behalf. The timescales for response that apply to current clients will no longer apply to you, although we will use our best endeavours to respond to you in a timely and efficient manner.




What happens to our paperwork/media after your work is done?


At the conclusion of our work on your case/project, we will offer you the option of having any paperwork/media that we have not already sent to you in e-version posted to you via ‘signed for’ delivery. You will have to pay for the administrative and postage costs associated with this. As we keep all clients updated on our communications with third parties on a regular basis, we will not send you copies of these communications. Should you request these in addition, you will have to pay for our administrative costs in collating, copying and sending you these. For compliance, GDPR, regulatory and practical reasons, we do not allow clients to either collect the above paperwork/media themselves nor to send a courier to do so. Should we not hear from you as to what you would like us to do with your paperwork/media within the deadline set for this process, we will scan and shred it.




How do we go about booking a 1 hour virtual consultation?


When you first contact us, a member of our team will contact you to find out more about your case/project: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case/project and so on. If we consider it appropriate for you, we will offer you a 1 hour virtual consultation. We offer this with cases/projects where, for example:

  • a telephone or Skype consultation is the quickest and most cost effective way for you to have your queries addressed
  • you are handling the case/project internally and have specific questions that you do not have the expertise in-house to address yourselves
  • you are working to a budget and need general guidance about your situation
  • you would benefit from initial advice on your case/project before proceeding with ongoing and costly litigation/measures.​
Once you have made payment (see here for an up to date fee schedule) we will send you your invoice for your records and our registration documents for you to complete and scan back to us. Once we have received your registration documents, we complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity (if you are an indvidual) or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made and so on. We then liaise with you to book the first available date/time for your virtual consultation. We do attempt to book virtual consultations as soon as possible - they are subject to availability, so it is in your interests to complete the tasks you are required to complete expeditiously. ​ We usually offer virtual consultations within 48 hours of completion of the registration process and often sooner than this. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute. We cannot book consultations prior to the completion of the registration process and payment of our fee.




How do we go about booking you for 3 or 6 session consultations?


When you first contact us, a member of our team will contact you to find out more about your case/project: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case/project and so on. If we consider it appropriate for you, we will offer you either 3 or 6 session blocks of advice, depending on how much time we think your case/project will require. We offer this with cases/projects where, for example:

  • the case/project is complex
  • you require specialise advice
  • you are likely or wish to have continuing assistance going forward
  • relevant paperwork/media has to be read/processed in order to provide comprehensive advice
Once you have made payment (see here for an up to date fee schedule) we will send you your invoice for your records and our registration documents for you to complete and scan back to us. Once we have received your registration documents, we complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity (if you are an indvidual) or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made and so on. We then liaise with you to book the first available date/time for your consultations, which can be virtual or in person. We do attempt to book consultations in as soon as possible - they are subject to availability, so it is in your interests to complete the tasks you are required to complete expeditiously. ​ We usually offer consultations within 48 hours of completion of the registration process and often sooner than this. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute. We cannot book consultations prior to the completion of the registration process and payment of our fee.




What happens once we've registered and paid?


Once we have received your registration documents, we: Complete our internal checks - for example, checking your identity or that of your organisation, whether the correct payment has been made, whether we have received all of your case/project papers and so on. Assess who the best people to work on your case/project will be - this will be subject to who has the right level of expertise for your case/project and who is available once the initial internal checks have been made. Our Head of Chambers is always the key lawyer on your case/project and she works alongside the Admin Team and Head Office Team who deal with the administrative and legal administration of your case respectively. The Associate Counsel who will be the specialist barrister working on your case (if required) will be appointed from the small team of barristers with whom we work on a regular basis. As booking Associate Counsel is subject to the timing of when you have made payment and have passed our internal checks, we are unable, at the point of your enquiry, to confirm who Associate Counsel might be. However, we can assure you that they will be a senior barrister with specialist expertise in your case and someone who we have worked with before or whose reputation is known to us. ​​ We then prepare 'Instructions to Counsel' or a project brief for the team working on your case. This is an internal document prepared for the purposes of ensuring that everyone is fully appraised of the details of your case. It: a) Contains all of your case/project papers:

  • Copies of material documents;
  • Court/Tribunal or other regulator/enforcement body's documents including:
  • Formal pleadings; Affidavit of documents; Copies of interrogatories and answers; Any other affidavits; Orders
  • Copies of relevant correspondence;
  • Proofs of evidence/statements of witnesses or reports/communications from key players;
  • Any opinions of Counsel or other instructed professionals obtained earlier.
​​ b) 'Instructs' the team on what actions have to be taken in relation to your case/project e.g. giving oral or written advice, chairing a hearing, attending a Board meeting and so on c) Sets out the specific legal/best practice questions that have to be considered as well as flagging any other relevant information arising in relation to the case/project d) Includes a summary of the case/project, including all relevant facts and information which would enable the reader to understand the issue at hand e) Advises the reader of the evidence available to support your claim and whether facts and assertions can be verified in other ways f) Contains references to the relevant case law and any unusual points of law, with particular reference to the facts of the matter g) Highlights any concerns about any aspect of the case h) Summarises: the issues in dispute between the parties; the state of any settlement negotiations (if relevant)' the hearing date; and the need for a conference in person or via telecon/videocon ​​ i) Provides details of:​ The court; and The time of the conference/appearance/hearing (if applicable)​ We then liaise with you to book dates/times/take additional instructions and so on once we have established and briefed the team to working on your case/project. At that point, the actual work on your case/project begins in partnership with you. Note that, in order to do all of the preparation work we have to complete before the actual work on your case/project begins, it is preferable if you book with us as soon as possible, to give us sufficient time to complete this process thoroughly and efficiently. We can and do accept late or urgent instructions, however this is not ideal as it is not in your best interests to instruct us (or anyone) at the last minute.




How can we obtain key information from you in an alternative format?


Please contact us so that we can cater for your needs, for example, by posting you a hard copy of key information to you : adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form on this page




What can we expect once we've retained you for a case/project?


You can expect a meeting with our Head of Chambers and posssibly, her Associate Counsel, who will be a specialist in the particular subject matter being discussed. The meeting will be held via telecon/videocon/in person, depending on what is most expedient for all parties and the options you have chosen. You will be given oral and/or written advice by our Head of Chambers/Associate Counsel on the following (where relevant):

  • Assessing your situation
  • Explaining how the law/best practice applies to your situation
  • Advising you on your options
  • Guiding you on any further information you may have to obtain
  • Agreeing your broad strategy in handling the situation
  • Setting out the immediate next steps




What happens if you can't accept our case/project?


We will let you know as soon as possible, usually within:

  • 2-3 business days of receiving your request for a quote (if it is immediately apparent that we cannot accept your case/project) or
  • 2-3 business days of receiving background information on your case that we have reviewed.
In these circumstances, we suggest that you use the following sources:
Chambers and Partners: https://chambers.com/ The Legal 500: https://www.legal500.com/ Juriosity: https://www.juriosity.com/ The Direct Access Portal: https://www.directaccessportal.co.uk/




What factors might influence the timescales of a case/project?


It can be difficult to predict how long your case/project will take from beginning to end. However, for each piece of work that we do on your case/project, we will provide you with an estimate of how long it will take and give you deadlines for completion. We will also keep in touch with you on a regular basis to advise you of developments in your case/project that might affect timescales.

  • Factors that have an impact on the progress of a case/project include:
  • The availability of those working on your case - this will be discussed with you upon booking and we will keep you up to date with our availability.
  • Your own availability
  • The availability of relevant third parties, such as a witness or a Court/Tribunal official etc.
  • The complexity of your case.
  • The amount of paperwork involved.
  • The need for additional information or documents - sometimes, we are subject to the co-operation of others in this regard. For example, in obtaining medical reports.
  • The approach taken by relevant third parties - for example, they may be keen to settle or negotiate or may be inclined to pursue a matter to litigation, which will add to the time it will take to conclude.Third parties intervening in the case - on occasion, a third party may become involved. For example, in some cases where criminal allegations become apparent, the police may have to take over. Working with a third party can increase the timescales involved.
  • Court/Tribunal waiting times.




Who is commonly involved in providing services?


When you first contact us via email or phone, you are likely to speak to one of our Admin Team. Following that, you might have an initial conversation with our Head of Chambers. The Admin Team will then send you our client registration documents which consist of:

  • Client contract
  • Fee policy
  • Authority to Act documentation
  • Joint representation disclaimer (if applicable)
Following this, your main contact will be with our Head of Chambers. At times, our Admin Team will correspond with you regarding admin queries or our paralegal team will contact you to get legal documents processed or to address simple legal queries. If an Associate Counsel is allocated to your case, you will work with them through our Head of Chambers and may meet them or work with them at meetings or in the course of your Case/Project. See also the question 'What happens once we've registered and paid?' for more details.




Do you cater for people with disabilities and translation requirements?


Please do contact us with your specific needs. We'd be more than happy to assist in making reasonable adjustments. For example, we have previously retained the services of a translator for a client whose first language was Romanian. With a client with mobility issues, we met them at a place that was easily accessible for them. For a client with dyslexia, we provided them with printed information on pastel paper. We can make similar accommodations for you if you let us know what they are. Reagrding access to our premises, we have a lift and toilet facilities. We do not have car parking, as we are in Central London, but we are easily accessible via Temple underground station on the District line or Holborn station on the Central line. Holborn station has escalators, whereas Temple does not, so Holborn may be preferable for those who are unable to use stairs easily.




Where can we access independent information on our legal choices?


You can take a look at the Legal Choices website. It supports your legal choices by giving you independent and factual information about legal issues, lawyers and legal advisors Legal Choices is run by legal services regulators in England and Wales.




What is the nature of your business?


We are Greycoat Barristers' Chambers, as listed on The Bar Register and are registered a sole practitioner's barristers' chambers, trading as 'Greycoat Law'. Isabelle Parasram is our Head of Chambers. Where we work with other barristers, they are titled 'Associate Counsel'. They are not tenants (otherwise known as 'members') of our Chambers, but, rather, work with us on discrete pieces of work, such as drafting a specific document or attending a hearing. Where we use Associate Counsel, we inform you of this and provide you with their details before you instruct us. They are named in your invoice. You will also meet them, whether in person or virtually. We may also have administrative staff who deal with the administrative aspects of your case/project and Assistant Paralegals who deal with some of the straightforward administrative legal work, for example, spell checking witness statements or emailing Court documents.




How can we contact you?


Call us on +44 (0)20 8989 9111 Email us at: adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk Write to us at: Greycoat Law, The Strand, London, WC2R 1AT




What are your terms of business?


Our terms of business are based on the Bar Council's standard contractual terms, modified to provide additional detail reflecting our particular ways of working. Prior to booking with us, you will receive a client contract and our fee policy, amongst other registration documents that set out the terms applicable to the work we have agreed to do for you. You will have the opportunity of reading these and discussing them with us before instructing us and before making any payment.





Barristers

What's the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?


A medical analogy might help to explain: a solicitor can be likened to a GP – a professional generalist who is used to dealing with a variety of problems and passing some of them on to more specialised experts. A barrister is like a consultant doctor – a specialist in one or more areas of the law, with in-depth expertise and experience. New regulations allow you to go direct to a specialist barrister without going through a solicitor, thus getting expert advice from the start and saving on the cost of the solicitor.




What’s the difference between a barrister and a lawyer?


‘Lawyer’ is a general term that covers both solicitors and barristers.




Why should we use a public/direct access barrister?


The public/direct access route means that you:

  • Save money without compromising on quality
  • Have access to specialisst legal expertise at a cheaper cost
  • Are able to manage your budget
  • Gain advice that will help to avoid litigation and minimise legal costs
  • Are in control of how we work together
The Bar Standards Board has produced guidance for direct access clients here.




How can we find out about a barrister's practising status?


The link to the Barristers’ Register page on the Bar Standard's Board website is: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/search-a-barristers-record/the-barristers-register.html The Bar Standard's Board Barristers’ Register shows: (1) who has a current practising certificate, and (2) whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings This will help you to make to make informed decisions about whom to instruct. Alternatively, you can contact the Bar Standards Board on +44 (0) 20 7611 1444 to ask about this or e-mail: ContactUs@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk




What qualifications do your Head of Chambers/Associate Counsel have?


Our Head of Chambers and any *Associate Counsel she works with are members of the Bar of England and Wales, and are self-employed practitioners and Commissioners for Oaths. They:

  • are public/direct access barristers and most are litigation qualified, which means that they are able to take instructions directly from members of the public and to carry out most of the services that a solicitor would perform.
  • comply with the Code of Conduct for the Bar of England and Wales and are regulated by the Bar Standards Board. You can access our Bar Standards Board Handbook here.
  • have appropriate professional liability insurance.
Greycoat Law is insured by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and its membership number is 8121-002. * Associate Counsel are barristers with whom our Head of Chambers may work on your case/project. They are not members or tenants of Greycoat Law. They may be specialist Counsel or Counsel who can assist with a particularly complex, lengthy or weighty case/project. They are self-employed and work independently. They have a contract with Greycoat Law to carry out legal services for us on an ad hoc basis. If an Associate Counsel is working on your case/project, you will be informed of this at the outset or as soon as this becomes necessary. Their identity, contact details and bio will be shared with you and you will have the right not to proceed, to request an alternative or to continue. Your quotation will always state the amount from your fee that is payable to Associate Counsel. You will not have to pay them directly - the fixed fee that we quote you will cover all of their costs.




Where can we find more about barristers in general?


Just take a look at the Bar Council website.





Complaints

What if we're not satisfied?


We are committed to giving an excellent service at all times to our lay and professional clients alike and to treat our team and all stakeholders with dignity and respect. However, we recognize that mistakes, misunderstandings, delays and other problems can occur. In the event that any of our clients or team are dissatisfied with the professional service or personal treatment they have received from any one of our team we take such matters very seriously and deal with it via our Complaints Policy attached here.




What if we want to make a complaint?


Our complaints procedure is set out in full here: https://bit.ly/2whDT1M You can complain to Legal Ombudsman if you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint, or if your complaint has not been dealt with in eight weeks. Here is the link for doing so: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ Clients who have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities. The full list of who has a right to complain to Legal Ombudsman is available on their website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/?faqs=who-can-use-our-service How to complain to Legal Ombudsman: You can contact them by:

  1. Telephone on 0300 555 0333
  2. Email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
  3. Use their complaint form
  4. Write to them at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
When you contact them it would help if you have:
  • Our name and address - Greycoat Law, 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT;
  • The date you first told us about your complaint;
  • The date you first became aware of the problem; and
  • Details of our response.
Ordinarily, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look at your complaint if it meets ALL three of the steps below:
  • The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
  • You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following: six years of the problem happening or three years from when you found out about it; and
  • You are referring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response.
You can find out more about the Legal Ombudsman here: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/




How can we find out about your Legal Ombudsman record?


Take a look at this link to the decision data on the Legal Ombudsman's website: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/data-centre/ombudsman-decision-data/ Alternatively, you can contact Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 to ask about us or e-mail enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk The decision data shows providers that received an Ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months. In each case, the data shows whether the Legal Ombudsman required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. You can see whether our Head of Chambers or any barristers we work with were required to provide any remedies in the previous 12 months. This will help you to make an informed decision about instructing us.




Do you use ADR services?


We do not use an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) service for our work, as it is not generally applicable to the type of work that we do. We are open to using ADR services, however, in relation to any complaint made against us. For this, we would use The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).





Direct access

How can we find out about Public Access Guidance for Lay clients?


We accept public access work from lay clients in the all of areas of work that we offer:

  • Employment Law
  • Professional misconduct
  • Sexual impropriety
  • Safeguarding
  • Child protection
  • Diveristy & Inclusion
  • Hearings, investigations & interviews (complaints, grievances, disciplinaries & recruitment)
  • Leadership coaching & mentoring
The Bar Standards Board produces guidance for lay clients to explain how the Public Access scheme works, and to show how members of the public (“lay clients”) can use it to instruct barristers directly. https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/uploads/assets/20f0db2a-a40c-4af9-95b1b9557ad748e9/Public-Access-Guidance-for-Lay-Clients.pdf The Public Access scheme allows members of the public to instruct a barrister directly. In the past it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor to instruct a barrister.





Fees

What if we cannot afford your fees?


There are several avenues for assistance if you are on a tight budget. Your first point of call should be to check your various insurances to see if you have legal cover for your case/project. If you are an indvidual, you can also check whether you are part of an employee scheme or Trade Union (if relevant). You may also qualify for Legal Aid. Note that we do not run Legal Aid cases or 'no win no fee' cases, although there are many legal practices that do. There are other avenues of help that are worth exploring, you will have to check whether they represent individuals or organisations or both: Laworks University of Leicester University of Bolton Advocate The Free Representation Unit Queen Mary University of London Legal Advice Centre The University of Law Bristol Law Centre City Law School Manchester University The Citizens Advice Bureau ACAS University of Birmingham




How much do you charge?


It depends on what service you are looking for. We have categorised our fees in service packages that are both cost effective and precitable for clients. They are set out here. They are based on the type of service you want, the tasks required and the time they will take, with built in discounts for more or regular bookings. If you would like a quote for your work, we will provide you with one as soon as possible. We always aim to set out quotes clearly, but if you receive your quote and there is something you do not understand, please contact us. To obtain a quote contact us at: adminteam@greycoatlaw.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form on this page We operate on the basis of fixed fees, payable in advance. Prior to booking with us and, as part of our client registration process, you will receive a contract which contains a detailed explanation of how we manage fees and sets out all of your related rights and responsibilities. We do not offer 'no win no fee' services - you can find out why here. Note that fees are subject to change and are correct as at November 2020. Your work can sometimes attract additional fees if, for example, there is a large amount of paperwork, the case requires the input of specialist Counsel, it involves commercial or international elements and so on. We will advise you of this before confirming the fee. We do not bill per hour or in 6-minute increments as many other legal practices do and we do not charge an hourly rate or work by the hour. Our fixed fees cover all of the work required on your case, as well as the administrative tasks and occasional queries you may have. This not only gives you peace of mind when it comes to both quality of service and fees, it also enables us to spend as much time working on your case as we need to without being limited by costs. This enables us to provide a much more comprehensive service to you and ensures that we get both repeat and recommended clients in the future.




Do you charge VAT?


We charged VAT from May 2016 up until July 2019, but, from that point onwards, after restructuring our business, we have not been charging VAT




How long will we have to wait for a quote?


We usually respond to general enquiries, including requests for quotations, within 1 business day or sooner. Once we have received sufficient background information from you to be able to provide a quote, we usually send detailed quotations within 2-3 business days or sooner.




Do you charge for providing quotations?


No, we do not.




In what circumstances might our fees vary?


We charge fixed fees in advance and generally, we absorb the costs of any unexpected developments in your case that arise during our completion of the tasks set out in our invoice that might require more input from us on those tasks. For example, regardless of whether your case requires a lot of contact with other parties or a little, our fixed fee caters for that. We want to be able to best represent you without being constrained by the idea of having to charge you for every email we send and every phone call we make that is beyond the expectations of an average case. If additional tasks are required or additional hearings are scheduled, these are chargeable. For example, if we catered for interviewing a certain number of witnesses and we need to deal with more that we were not aware of at the begining of a case/project, we will discuss this with you so that we can decide together what the best course is and agree on fees for that work. If the nature of the case or the work required changes because you did not provide us with the full information detailed in the checklist that we always provide at the start of a case, then we might have to charge additional fees in those circumstances also if any additional paperwork or information means that the work we have to do on your case/project changes as a result.




What pricing model do you use?


We charge fixed fees in advance and set out, in detail, what tasks we will complete on your case/project, by whom and for what cost. We also set out, in our invoice, what potential costs might arise in addition or during the next stage of your case/project and the circumstances in which your fees may attract additional costs.




Is there any flexibility on your fees?


We generally find that our fees are lower than average due to the fact that we have low overheads, however, if you have received a quote for similar work that is more competitive than ours, please call us to dicuss. Alternatively, you can try other legal providers or access free or subisidised legal advice/representation. We do not offer a 'no win, no fee' service. Please refer to the other FAQs for more information on the above: "Do you accept 'no win no fee' cases?" "What if we cannot afford your fees?" "What happens if you can't accept our case/project?"




Can we take out insurance to cover our legal fees?


The Legal Choices and the Which? websites can provide you with information about both 'before the event' insurance and 'after the event' insurance. For example, you may already have access to free legal advice through your trade union or home insurance policy. Take a look at the Legal Choices website here: https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/money-talks/after-the-event-insurance Or the Which? website here: https://www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/legal-expenses-insurance




Do you accept legal aid cases?


We are not able to accept legal aid cases as we are direct access barristers and the type of work we do does not usually lend itself to Legal Aid funding. It is always worth checking to see if you are entitled to Legal Aid and, if in doubt to find a legal services provider that can find out if you are eligible for it. To find out more about legal iad in general, click here: https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid Here is a link to the legal aid eligibility calculator on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid/eligibility




Do you use any third party payment services?


Barristers are not permitted to hold client money and some therefore use third party payment services for making payment to, from, or on behalf of their clients. We do not use any third party payment service, as the way in which we operate does not require us to hold client money. Generally, if there are additional costs generated by third parties, such as expert witnesses, our clients pay them directly.




Do you accept 'no win no fee' cases?


We do not accept 'no win no fee' (otherwise known as conditional fee agreement) cases/projects.





Regulation

What is your GDPR status?


Greycoat Law is committed to protecting the personal information you share with us. We have updated our privacy policy to ensure we continue to meet the high standards of the new European data protection law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can read our full policy by clicking here.

In the privacy policy you can find out more about what sort of information we collect from you and why, how we keep your data safe and how you can manage your personal information.
When you register with us as a client, you will receive information about GDPR and provide the relevant consents via your client contract. We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office, our registration number is ZA058978. You can check our registration here. Enter the name of our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram and our address: 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT.




Are you on the Barristers' Register?


Yes. The link to the Barristers’ Register page on the BSB’s website is https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers’-register/ The BSB’s Barristers’ Register shows: (1) who has a current practising certificate, and (2) whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings, which are published on the Barristers’ Register. We hope that this helps you to make an informed decision about whom to instruct.




Are you insured?


We have appropriate professional liability insurance. Greycoat Law is insured by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and its membership number is 8121-002. You can contact the Fund here: https://www.barmutual.co.uk/contact-us/




Are you registered with the Information Commissioner's Office?


We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office, our registration number is ZA058978. You can check our registration here. Enter the name of our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram and our address: 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT.




When did you last review this website?


The last review took place in January 2021 in order to confirm that we are complying with all Bar Standards Board requirements.





Services

What can we expect if we book a 1 hour virtual consultation?


You can expect to obtain advice from our Head of Chambers by telephone or Skype, date and time to be agreed. Prior to this, our administrative team will have had pre-consultation communications with you to find out more about your case: what you are trying to achieve, whether there are any key deadlines to work to, the facts and history of your case and so on. - The consultation with our Head of Chambers will last up to 60 minutes Note that it is largely unnecessary for us to read the background paperwork prior to the call, as we will have gleaned the key facts in our pre-consultation discussion with you. If you would like us to read any background paperwork before or after the consultation, or, if it becomes apparent that this will be necessary, there will be an additional charge for this. This is why we gain the core facts about your case from our pre-consultation discussion with you without charging for this aspect of our service, in order to keep your fee as low as possible.




What type of clients do you serve?


We work with professional, licensed access, and lay clients. Examples of clients include:

  • Solicitors or other practising lawyers
  • Licensed Access clients, who may either hold a licence issued by the Bar Standards Board, or be a member of a professional body which has been recognised by the Bar Standards Board
  • Organisations such as companies, partnerships, charities, public sector organisations etc.
  • Members of the public who wish to instruct a barrister under the Public Access schemes
+44 (0) 20 8989 9111 or via our contact form here




Can you represent us in Court or Tribunal?


We do not manage the litigation process as our focus is on preventing it. Our role is to assist you in ensuring that your organsiation is compliant and up to date with best practice so that litigation can be avoided. If, whilst working with you, it becomes apparent that you will need to enter into litigation, we will discuss the various options open to you. These could include using your current arrangements for legal representation or, if you would prefer, we can help you to identify external lawyers or Counsel to take your matter forward. With most organisations we work with. they will have their preferred methods of instructing lawyers or may have their own internal legal teams.




What limitations apply to your services?


Our Head of Chambers, Isabelle Parasram, is direct/public access qualified and is authorised to conduct litigation. We are therefore able to offer the full range of services you would receive if you instructed a solicitor and a barrister, with the following exceptions: We do not:

  • accept legal aid cases
  • operate on a 'no win no fee' basis
  • hold client money




Can you guide us to further sources of support and advice?


Information about further sources of support and advice: Advice UK: a network of advice centres across the country Advocate: free advice and representation on legal matters (applications-based). Contact: 020 7092 3960 Citizens Advice: free, independent and impartial advice on a range of issues and rights. Advice Line: 03444 111 444 (England); 03444 77 20 20 (Wales) Law Centres Network: search for local law centres in England Law Works: connects people in need of legal advice with lawyers who are able to help for free. Searchable directory of local legal advice clinics in England and Wales Personal Support Unit: provides advice, information and support for litigants in person (those representing themselves in court) Telephone: 020 7073 4760 Samaritans: helpline support for anyone who wants to talk to someone about the problems they are facing in their life Helpline: 116 123 The Money Advice Service: free, confidential advice about managing finances and dealing with debts Advice line: 0800 138 7777




Can you describe the key stages and timescales of our case/project?


When you first instruct us, we set out the key stages and timescales for your case/project via our communications with you by phone calls, emails or our invoice. As timescales may shift, we do not limit our communications with you to the start of our work - we update you on a regular basis, so as to manage your expectations and to enable you to make informed decisions.




What fields of law do you currently cover?


Just take a look at our Services page. Not only do we offer 'traditional' legal advice, we can:

  • support your Senior Leadership Teams in shaping policy
  • play active roles in your organisation as independent 3rd parties (such as chairing hearings, investigations and interviews and attending Board meetings) and
  • provide coaching and mentoring to your senior leaders and their teams.
Our barristers have previously specialised in numerous areas of law and have a range of 'real world' organisational experience. All of this feeds into the input we can have into your organisation. Just take a look at our Head of Chambers' profile and you'll see what we mean!