Public Access Terms

Version 2.1 Effective from 27 Oct 2010

1.         Interpretation

Except where it is clear from the context that some other meaning is intended:

(1)      the following expressions have the following meanings:

“the Board” means the Bar Standards Board which is the regulatory authority of the Bar of England and Wales;

“Client” means a person for whom a Member will supply Services;

Client Care Letter” means a letter (including an email) setting out the terms upon which the Member will supply Services to a Client;

“the Code” means the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England & Wales together with its Annexes and Written Standards for the Conduct of Professional Work for the time being as interpreted and applied by the Code Guidance and supplemented by the Equality and Diversity Code of the Board;

“the Complaints Policy” means the Member’s policy for handling and redressing complaints published on the NIPCLAW website for the time being;

“the Company” means NIPC Ltd., a private company incorporated with limited liability in England and Wales under company number 06223818 which markets and manages the practices of Members;

“Contract” means a contract between a Member and a Client or between a Member and an Intermediary for the supply of Services to a Client under the Public Access Rules;

“Fee” means the consideration payable to the Member for supplying Services pursuant to a Contract;

“Instructions” means an offer by a Client or an Intermediary to a Member to procure Services from a Member pursuant to the Public Access Rules including a brief;

“Intermediary” means a person who contracts with a Member as agent of a Client for the supply of Services to a Client;

“Member” means a barrister or foreign lawyer who is the member of NIPC Law;

“NIPCLAW” means the association of barristers who practise together in the name or style of NIPC Law;

“Public Access Rules” means Annexe F1 to the Code,

“Services” means specialist advice, drafting, representation and other services commonly offered by barristers in England and Wales on intellectual property, information technology, media, entertainment, competition and closely related areas of law;

“the Terms” means these terms for the supply of Services by Members to Clients under the Public Access Rules.

(2)  the singular connotes the plural and vice versa;

(3)  the masculine connotes the feminine and neuter and vice versa; and

(4)  the headings to these Terms are intended to facilitate navigation and neither form part of nor affect the constructions of this agreement.

2.         The Terms

(1)        These are the only terms upon which a Member will supply Services to Clients under the Public Access Rules.

(2)      Unless a Member agrees expressly to the contrary in writing, any other terms or conditions (whether contained in Instructions, standard terms of procurement of services or otherwise) shall be disregarded.

3.       The Member

(1)      Every Member is

(a)      a barrister of the Bar of England and Wales in independent private practice; or

(b)       a registered European lawyer a other foreign lawyer who is permitted to practise with barristers in independent private practice in England and Wales in accordance with the Code;

and as such he or she is regulated by the Board and in the case of a foreign lawyer the  professional regulator in his or her home country.

(2)      The Member will comply strictly with the Code and the general law at all times and, in the case of a foreign lawyer, the rules and practices of his or her own profession.

(3)      These Terms and any Contract made hereunder shall be construed in accordance with the Code and any provision that is incompatible with the Code shall be disregarded.

4.       The Company and NIPCLAW

(1)      The Company offers

(a)       marketing and practice management services to Members including fee negotiation and recovery services which bring it into contact with Clients; and

(b)        publishing, training and other services to the public;

but does not offer, or purport to offer, Services to the public.

(2)      NIPCLAW is an unincorporated association of Members that offers mutual advice and support but it neither offers, nor purports to offer, any Services to the public.

(3)      Neither the Company nor NIPCLAW shall be party to any contract for the supply of Services.

(4)      Neither the Company nor NIPCLAW shall be liable for any act or default of a Member.

5.         Formation of Contracts

(1)      A Contract will come into being if, and only if, a Member accepts Instructions.

(2)      A Member will contract with a Client unless he or she is represented by an Intermediary in which case the Barrister will contract with the Intermediary.

(3)        A Member will not be bound unless and until the Client or, as the cased may be, Intermediary has signed or otherwise assented to a Client Care Letter from the Member.

(4)      Contracts are made for the supplied of specified Services and not for the retention of a Member’s services generally.

(5)      Should work be needed over and above the Services specified in a Contract on the subject matter of that Contract, the Member will be bound to do such additional work only if the Member enters another Contract.

(6)      A Member shall not be required to accept Instructions for any such subsequent work

6.         Contracts with Intermediaries

(1)        An Intermediary shall act as agent for the Client and not for the Member.

(2)        The Member shall owe a professional duty to the Client.

(3)        Notwithstanding condition 15,. the Client may enforce a Contract made for his benefit by an Intermediary pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

(4)        It shall be the responsibility of both the Intermediary and the Client to draw to the Member’s attention any matter that the Client wishes the Member to consider.

(5)        The Intermediary shall provide administrative assistance to the Member on behalf of the Client.

(7)        If a Member contracts with an Intermediary, the Intermediary will be responsible for the Fee.

7.       Returns

(1)      A Member may rescind a Contract without incurring any liability to the Client or Intermediary or any other person in any of the following circumstances:

(a)       the Member is prevented from providing Instructions on a specified day by conflicting professional commitments;

(b)        circumstances arise, or facts and matters come to the attention of the Member after acceptance of Instructions in which it ceases to be appropriate for the Member to supply Services to the Client; or

(c)        circumstances arise, or facts and matters come to the attention of the Member after acceptance of Instructions in which it becomes clear that it was inappropriate for the Member to supply Services to the Client.

(2)      Should a Member be prevented from supplying Services in any of the above circumstances, he or she will do the following.

(a)       warn the Client (and Intermediary, if any) as soon as possible and ask him or her how he or she would prefer to continue;

(b)        suggest the name of another Member of a suitable level of seniority and expertise who is willing to accept the case under the same terms;

(c)        help the Client (and Intermediary, if any) find a barrister elsewhere if there  is not a suitable barrister within NIPCLAW or if the Client does not want NIPCLAW to continue working on the Client’s case; and

(d)      discuss with the Client and/or Intermediary the costs of instructing another barrister.

8.       Fees

(1)      A Member may charge:

(a)      a fixed fee for advisory or drafting work;

(b)        a fixed fee for preparing for a hearing before a court or other tribunal and the first day or part of a day of the hearing (a “brief fee”) plus a supplementary fee (“a refresher”) for each and every subsequent day or part of a day of the hearing; or

(c)        a specified hourly rate and reimbursement of his or her reasonable expenses;

plus United Kingdom value added tax.

(2)       A Member shall not be obliged to deliver paperwork or attend a hearing unless and until his or her fee, tax and expenses are paid in full.

(3)        Unless a Contract is made with an Intermediary the Client shall be responsible for the Fee.

(4)      Without prejudice to his or her other rights and remedies a Member may charge interest upon any sum that remains outstanding for more than 28 days from the date of his or her fee note until judgment or sooner payment computed on a day to day basis at the annual rate of 4 percent above the base rate of the Bank of Scotland for the time being.

9.       Documents

(1)      A Member may make and keep copies of any documents that the Client or Intermediary may give him or her for the Member’s professional records.

(2)      A Member will return all original documents after he or she has have carried out the work he or she was instructed to do.

(3)      Wherever possible the Client or Intermediary will supply copies of documents for the Member’s use rather than originals.

(4)      Where that is not possible, the Member may make a reasonable charge for photocopying.

10.     Confidential Information

(1)      All information communicated to a Member by a Client or Intermediary to assist the Member to supply Services to the Client shall be received in professional confidence.

(2)      Such obligation of confidence shall not prevent disclosure of such information to the police or other law enforcement or regulatory authority without the Client or Intermediary’s knowledge or consent where such disclosure is required by law.

(3)      The Member shall incur no liability to the Client for such disclosure in such circumstances.

11.     Complaints

(1)      Any complaint shall be addressed to the Member in accordance with the Complaints Policy in the first instance.

(2)      Should the Client or Intermediary not be satisfied with the Member’s response he or she may renew the complain to the Board at

The Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 15870,
B30 9EB
Tel 0300 555 0333

12.     Severance

Should any of these provisions be void, voidable or unenforceable on grounds of illegality or as contrary to statute, public policy or ordre public in any part of the United Kingdom or elsewhere, such provision shall be deemed never to have formed part of these Terms but all other provisions shall remain in force.

13.     Exclusion of Equitable Remedies

The failure of either party at any time to require performance by the other of any of these Terms shall not: affect the right of that party to require performance at a later time, or be regarded as a waiver of the provision itself.

14.     Notices

(1)      All notices or notifications shall be in writing and signed by the party on whose behalf they are served or given.

(2).     Subject to paragraph 14 (5) below, such notice or notification may be delivered by post, fax or email to the address set out in paragraph 14 (3) and (4).

(3)      Notices and notifications to Members shall be addressed to the Manager at:

The Media Centre
7 Northumberland Street
United Kingdom

Tel 0800 862 0055
Fax 01484 681964

Email jill.hayfield at

(4)      Notices and notifications to a Client shall be addressed to the Client or Intermediary at the address disclosed in his or her Instructions or Client Care Letter.

(5)      Either party may change the address, fax number or email where it will receive notices or notifications by notifying the other in accordance with this clause.

(6)      Postal delivery will be deemed to have taken place on the 2nd business day after posting if posted in the United Kingdom and the 7th business day if posted elsewhere.

(7)      Delivery by fax or email will be deemed to take place upon transmission of an automatic acknowledgement by the remote fax machine or mail server.

15.     Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

Subject to condition 6 (3) these Terms are not intended to create any right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 which is enforceable by any person who is not a party to a Contract and the rights of any third party under that Act are hereby expressly excluded.

16.     Choice of Law

These Terms and any Contract incorporating them shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.

17.      Choice of Forum

The Client and Intermediary submit irrevocably to the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

Amended on 27 Oct 2010 to substitute Legal Ombudsman for the Bar Standards Board as the person and place to lodge complaints.