I can act as a fee earner and carry out all of the functions of counsel, i.e. draft statements of case, provide advocacy in any court and draft opinions, in virtually all types of commercial and civil litigation. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the types of work that I can carry out.
- Landlord & Tenant Claims (for Residential & Commercial, acting for Landlords or Tenants)
- Breach of Contract Claims
- Employment Claims
- Personal Injury Claims
- Tortious Claims (e.g. Defamation, Negligence & Nuisance)
- Property Disputes (e.g. boundary disputes, rights of way disputes, restrictive covenants and co-ownership disputes)
- Debt Recovery Work
Below are some concrete examples of the types of service that I can provide (the list is not exhaustive):
- Drafting terms and conditions
- Attending trials or hearings as your advocate
- Advising you on the strengths of a potential claim that you wish to bring or need to defend
- Advising you on settling an existing or potential claim
- Drafting the documents required to issue a claim
- Drafting a defence
- Having conduct of all or part of your proceedings (whichever is more suitable to you)
- Drafting witness statements, applications or other complicated litigious documents
- Providing you with an advice, face to face, in writing or both
- Providing you with advice and assistance, for active proceedings
Numbers 2-9 above are in relation to civil and commercial litigation. If your matter does not involve family law, criminal law, conveyancing, drafting of wills or estate administration, then I can probably deal with it. In rare cases, where your instructions are within my practice area but beyond my competence, I have the right to brief other barristers. This might be of assistance to you, where the other barrister is not authorised to accept direct access work.
Small Claims Hearings
Many barristers and solicitors, will not deal with small claims proceedings because this is not cost effective for them. However, this does not apply to me as my overheads are very low. As stated in the “Benefits of Instructing Me” section, to ensure cost effectiveness, you can conduct part of the proceedings yourself and provide me with discrete instructions, for instance you can instruct me just to attend the small claims hearing.
Fee & turnaround time
My fees are fixed in the vast majority of case and are very competitive. Due to my fairly wide range of work, I cannot publish fees on this site.
To enable me to put forward an appropriate fee proposal to you, I will need understand your case. To understand your case, I will need to review your paperwork and often have a discussion with you; I will not charge you for this process, although as I am sure you will appreciate, a review is not supposed to be a substitute for proper advice.
VAT is payable on my fees (company VAT number – 342 6306 21).
My standard turnaround time for drafting a document or an advice is 7-10 days. This can vary considerably depending on the number of documents I need to review, the complexity of the matter and my commitments at the time the instructions are accepted.
All of the services referred to above can be provided by me on a public access basis. The fee structure, i.e. where the vast majority of my services are carried out on a fixed fee basis, whereby a fixed fee is agreed in advance of the work, applies to my public access work.
A link to the public access guidance for lay clients is provided below:
Enterprise Insurance Plc v U Drive (Gibraltar) Solutions Ltd; see here
BMW Financial Services (GB) Ltd v Hart; see here
The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Chancery Bar Association
I operate as a limited company, Joseph Chiffers Barrister at Law Limited (company number – 11828322). My company and I are both regulated by the Bar Standards Board. A link to the Barrister’s Register is provided below – you can also verify the status of my company and I by contacting the Bar Standards Board:
GDPR & COMPLAINTS
My client care letter details my complaints policy and the right of a client to complain to the Legal Ombudsman; you may complain to me in writing and I will usually reply to your complaint within 21 days, stating whether it is rejected, upheld or upheld in part. If you are not satisfied with my decision on your complaint, you have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of my decision. You can find out about the procedure for complaining to the Legal Ombudsman, how to contact them and the applicable time limits at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
You can also find data on the decisions of the Legal Ombudsman via the below (there are no decisions involving me):
I am able to offer mediation services in any of my practice areas, with my colleague Abigail Lenart. Abigail qualified as a mediator with the ADR group in 2015 and has significant experience as a County Court Advocate.
We operate as a team, which provides the parties to a mediation with a considerable advantage.
Based on my experience of attending many mediations over (circa) 15 years of practice, I believe that the qualities required for a successful mediator are:
1. Empathy for the party’s positions.
2. Lateral thinking (often a dispute can be resolved with solutions that a Court would not be able to order. Additionally, often the parties want something from each other outside of their pleaded case. For example, in a neighbour harassment dispute, this may be resolved by one party buying the property of the other).
3. A quick an incisive analysis, so that the strengths and weaknesses of the party’s case can be explained succinctly.
4. Demonstrating that they have reviewed the papers thoroughly.
5. The ability to listen.
6. The ability to explain the strengths and weakness of a case without appearing to give an opinion or demonstrate bias.
7. Ensuring that the parties do not make or at least minimise, tactical and unrealistic offers, which can result in the gap being too far to bridge within the day allocated for mediation.
Our fees are competitive, and we will offer a fixed fee upon review of the papers. Our average fee for a multi-track case is £1500. We offer 2 mediators for the price of one and the additional mediator may prove invaluable, being the difference between success and failure.