Field Court Tax Chambers

Instructing us

Instructing Counsel is a straightforward process.  Your first point of contact should be our Practice Managers, who will be delighted to help you.  However, if you have a particular Counsel you want to deal with, then you can contact and instruct that Counsel direct. 

Below you will find further information about our service and how we can help you.  We have also recorded the answers for you to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Barristers can work directly for a wide range of clients and our work typically comes from accountants, solicitors, in-house legal counsel from a wide variety of industries, tax advisors, trust companies and under Public Access from members of the public.  To check the rules under which you can instruct, you can check here for Professional Clients and Licensed Access.  You can find out more about Public Access and which of our barristers are qualified to accept public access instructions in the “Public access instructions” section below.

Our practice managers will be happy to advise as to the best way for a particular client to instruct a member of chambers.

Like other barristers’ chambers, we are not a firm or partnership.  Each barrister has his or her own personal practice.  We are specialists and not generalists and you can find out more about each barrister’s particular field of interest and specialism from their profile here. We do discuss amongst ourselves difficult points of law and this wide experience enables us to offer practical, accurate and insightful tax advice.

Our practice managers are happy to discuss how to find the right person or team to instruct and when would be the best point to instruct them either on the telephone or by email.  We pride ourselves on giving exceptional service and in understanding exactly what you need to ensure the optimum and most cost-effective result.

We can be instructed to give tax advice and to conduct tax appeals and other tax-related litigation.  We appear in tax appeals argued before the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax), the Upper Tribunal, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Privy Council and the European Court of Justice.

Where we are to give tax advice, it is important to instruct a tax barrister as early as possible in the planning stage.

Where the work is contentious, we can be instructed right up to the hearing, whether tribunal or Court.  We are used to stepping in at very short notice, but as a rule it is generally better to involve the barrister at the correspondence stage, as we can often resolve a dispute without the need for lengthy correspondence or a court hearing.

In complex matters, it is often cost-effective to instruct a junior barrister alongside a senior barrister.  In litigation, a Queen’s Counsel (QC) will often be assisted by junior counsel.

The following members of Chambers can accept instructions directly from the public without the need for first instructing a professional adviser (for example a solicitor or accountant).

Patrick Way QC

Peter Vaines

Philip Goeth

Katherine Bullock

You may also find the following publication by the Bar Standards Board helpful: Public Access for Lay Clients

The normal basis on which each barrister charges their fees is set out with their other details here .  We are happy to provide an estimate of fees, if requested to do so and if sufficient information is available.  As a rule of thumb, we aim to provide you with an estimate for fees before work starts and as quickly as possible.  The work undertaken by members of chambers ranges across a wide spectrum of complexity, duration and responsibility and as a result we agree the fee for each piece of work separately. 

Our practice managers are happy to provide you with an estimate and explanation of costs and are adept at helping you to manage your budget effectively.  If you are uncertain on any point, they will be happy to take you through each area in more detail.

The professional who instructs the barrister (known as the licensed access client) is liable for the barrister’s fee due in respect of work carried out by the barrister under any instructions.  Even in a case where the matter concerns a lay client, the professional is solely and exclusively liable to the barrister for the fees whether or not the lay client puts the professional in funds.

In this regard, the relationship, between the barrister and the professional is a contractual one.

Any individual giving or purporting to give instructions on behalf of any partnership, firm, company, individual or other person warrants to the barrister that he is authorised by the latter to do so and retain for six years after the last item of work done by the barrister instructed copies of instructions (including supplemental instructions); copies of all advices given and documents drafted and approved; a list of all documents enclosed with any instructions; notes of all conferences and all advice given by telephone.

If the professional is a partnership or a firm or unincorporated association, the liability of the partners or members and on death that of their estates for the barrister’s fees is joint and several.

Neither the sending by the professional of instructions to a barrister nor the acceptance of those instructions by a barrister nor anything done in connection therewith nor the terms governing Licensed Access nor any arrangement or transaction entered into under them shall give rise to any contractual relationship rights duties or consequences whatsoever either between the barrister and the General Council of the Bar and any lay client or between the General Council of the Bar and the professional.

If and when you wish to consult with Counsel we can now offer video conferencing facilities. Our system is compatible with the majority of IP systems. If you do not have access to a video conference system, but do have access to an iPad or a computer with a webcam, then we can also accommodate you. The process is very simple; we invite you as a Guest via e-mail. The e-mail includes a link to a special web sign up page. Once the guest has logged in successfully Counsel is able to call and begin the video conference.

In accordance with the guidelines issued by the Bar Standards Board, the Bar Council and the Revenue Bar Association, we are required to ask all lawyers or regulated professionals, whether UK or overseas, who instruct a member of Chambers to confirm in writing the identity of their lay client and that they have verified the identity of the lay client in accordance with the relevant money laundering regulations.  We cannot start work until that written confirmation has been received. We aim to make this process straightforward and convenient for the lay client and the regulated professional client.

Where we are instructed directly by a member of the public, we undertake these client identification procedures ourselves and again aim to make this process straightforward and convenient for our client.

All barristers offer their services to clients subject to and in accordance with the Code of Conduct of the Bar.

A copy of our standard terms and conditions are available on request. 

Specific terms may be agreed between the barrister and the client on a case by case basis subject always to the Code of Conduct of the Bar.

We are fully committed to equal opportunity and diversity both inside and outside chambers. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and we abhor any form of prejudice or discrimination in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, class or age.

We have willingly adopted policies in relation to grievance, anti-harassment, and the making of reasonable adjustments to reduce substantial disadvantage for disabled people working with chambers or receiving legal services and we have available a written statement on equality and diversity.

We are committed to making chambers a pleasant and enjoyable place for everyone who works here or instructs us.

Complaints Procedure

  1. Our aim is to give you a good service at all times, but if you have a complaint you are invited to let us know as soon as possible. In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the individual who is working on your case to discuss any concerns and he or she will do their best to resolve any issues at that stage. However, if you would like to make a formal complaint our complaints procedure is as follows.

Complaints made by telephone

  1. You may wish to make a complaint in writing and, if so, please follow the procedure in paragraph 4 below. However, if you would rather speak on the telephone about your complaint then please telephone Marie Burke (Practice Manager) or Stephanie Talbot (Assistant Practice Manager). If the complaint is about the Practice Manager or Assistant Practice Manager, then it should be made in writing to the Head of Chambers, Patrick Soares. The person you contact will make a note of the details of your complaint and what you would like done about it. He or she will discuss your concerns with you and aim to resolve them. If the matter is resolved he or she will record the outcome, check that you are satisfied with the outcome and record that you are satisfied.  You may also wish to record the outcome of the telephone discussion in writing.
  2. If your complaint is not resolved on the telephone you will be invited to write to us about it within the next 14 days so it can be investigated formally.

Complaints made in writing

  1. Please give the following details: your name and address, which member(s) of chambers or staff member(s) you are complaining about; the detail of the complaint; and what you would like done about it. Please address your letter to Marie Burke, Practice Manager, Field Court Tax Chambers, 3 Field Court, Gray’s Inn, London, WC1R 5EP (unless the complaint relates to the Practice Manager or Assistant Practice Manager in which case please address your letter to Patrick Soares, the Head of Chambers, at the same address).
  2. Any written complaint will be considered by the Head of Chambers (unless the complaint relates to the Head of Chambers in which case another member of Chambers will consider the complaint). In any case, the person appointed will be someone other than the person you are complaining about.
  3. The person investigating the complaint will write to you as soon as possible to let you know that he or she will be doing so and that they will reply to your complaint within 14 days. If that person finds later that they are not going to be able to reply within 14 days they will set a new date for their reply and inform you. The reply will set out (1) the nature and scope of the investigation, (2) the conclusion on each complaint and the basis for the conclusion, and (3) proposals for resolving the complaint if it is found that the complaint was justified.

Confidentiality

  1. All conversations and documents relating to the complaint will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed only to the extent that is necessary. Disclosure will be to the Head of Chambers and to anyone involved in the complaint and its investigation. Such people will include the barrister or member of staff who you have complained about, and the person who investigates the complaint. The Bar Standards Board is entitled to inspect the documents and seek information about the complaint when discharging its monitoring functions.

Our policy

  1. As part of our commitment to client care we make a written record of any complaint. Our Head of Chambers inspects the record with a view to improving services.

Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman / alternative dispute resolution

  1. If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation, and you fall within their jurisdiction, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates problems about poor service from lawyers. Please note that the Legal Ombudsman only deals with complaints from a barrister’s client (a non-client who is not satisfied with the outcome of our investigation can contact the Bar Standards Board – see below).
  2. Before accepting a complaint for investigation the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then the time limits within which you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are:
  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
  1. If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them. The contact details are:
  1. Decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman can be accessed here.
  1. In addition, if you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation, alternative complaints bodies (such as ProMediate www.promediate.co.uk) also exist which can deal with complaints about legal services, should you and the barrister both wish to use such a scheme. If you wish to use ProMediate please contact us to discuss this. Please contact ProMediate to obtain further details about the scheme, including details of any applicable time limits for using the scheme. Please note that if mediation is used neither you nor the barrister is required to accept the proposed resolution. If mediation does not resolve the complaint, you may still make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (provided you fall within their jurisdiction and you do so within the time limit).

Non-clients

  1. If you are not the barrister’s client you can nonetheless complain to the barrister or to Chambers using the procedure set out above. It should be noted, however, that it may not always be possible to investigate a complaint brought by a non-client. This is because the ability of Chambers to satisfactorily investigate and resolve such matters is limited and complaints of this nature are often better suited to the disciplinary processes maintained by the Bar Standards Board. Therefore, Chambers will make an initial assessment of the complaint and if they feel that the issues raised cannot be satisfactorily resolved through the chambers complaints process they will refer you to the Bar Standards Board. Furthermore, if we carry out an investigation but you are unhappy with the outcome then please contact the Bar Standards Board:

The following information is provided by Field Court Tax Chambers pursuant to the requirements of The Provision of Services Regulations 2009.

Part 2 Chapter 1

Regulation 8(b)

Field Court Tax Chambers is a set of barristers chambers.  Chambers does not have a collective legal identity or form and all barristers practising from Field Court Tax Chambers are self-employed.

Regulation 8(g)

All members of chambers are registered for VAT and their registration numbers is available under their regulatory information on their profile on this website and is available on their fee notes.

Regulation 8(h)

The General Council of the Bar is the approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales and together with the Bar Standards Board (its regulatory arm) regulates the services provided by the barristers at Field Court Tax Chambers.

Regulation 8(n)

Barristers are required to hold professional liability insurance.  This is provided by:

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited
90 Fenchurch Street
London EC3M 4ST

The minimum limit of cover is £500,000 and extends to claims brought in any jurisdiction.  Members of Chambers may opt to take out additional cover, which is provided by TLO.