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ChBA Contract Terms - Consultation

The Chancery Bar Association has been monitoring for some time developments in the use of contractual terms for instructions from solicitors.  After discussion with senior clerks and practice managers and at committee level, we have prepared a draft of some ChBA contractual terms.  These are intended to be sensible, uncomplicated and fair, to work adequately for all types of Chancery work and to deal with some of the problems that exist with other sets of contractual terms and under the BSB Handbook.  They can be found by clicking here.

We consider that it is right to consult formally the membership and their clerking and practice management teams before deciding whether or not to publish any further contractual terms of business.  The objectives that we seek to achieve by publishing ChBA terms are explained in the consultation paper, click here, in particular at paragraph 10.  If the general view is that the objectives are wrong, or that such terms would not achieve the objectives, or that for other reasons publication would be likely to be detrimental rather than beneficial to Chancery barristers, then we would be unlikely to proceed to publication.  On the other hand, I am sure that if the mood is favourable there are nevertheless many improvements in drafting that can be identified, as well as solutions to some of the more difficult problems that we have highlighted in the paper.

We have identified particular questions, in paragraph 21, to which we would welcome responses, but we would be equally grateful for any other comments and suggestions.  If possible, we would like to hear from as many of the main Chancery sets, in London and the regions, as possible, as well as from a number of individuals practising in other sets or on their own account.  Would you therefore please forward this e-mail to your clerks and practice managers?  Responses should be sent to Francesca by e-mail by Monday, 21 July 2014.