Chambers fight shy of disclosing fee figures

JUST 20 sets of chambers have decided to break tradition and publish details of their barristers' fees in the new edition of the official Bar Directory.

This year is the first time chambers have been invited by the directory, published by FT Law & Tax, to include their fee rates.

The vast majority declined to include specific fees and instead invited readers to contact their clerks.

Among those who chose to outline their rates were 10-11 Gray's Inn Square, which quoted guidelines of £75-£100 for barristers with more than 10 years experience, and Francis Taylor Buildings, which cited £85 to £175 for the same level of counsel.

Another of the 20 is Enterprise Chambers, which five years ago became the first set to advertise its fees.

Rozi Premji, who handles the set's development and client care, said: “We aim to provide an open service. I think what our client survey's has shown is that solicitors want to have a guideline.”

Doughty Street Chambers was a notable absentee from the list of chambers which disclosed their fees in the directory.

Practice manager Christine Kings cited the flexibility of fees and the fact that the set often undertook pro bono work as the reasons for its decision not to disclose its fees.

“There is reluctance from some barristers. It is just a traditional thing, but I'm sure we'll break out of it,” she added.

A Bar Council spokesman said the move to publish fee details was part of its policy to encourage transparency in the profession .

FT Law & Tax resolved to include fee information after consulting with law firms.