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Fee disputes and privilege/confidentiality

Purpose: To assist barristers to understand what use they may make of fee notes and other privileged material in fee disputes and claims for fees
Scope of application: All practising barristers
Issued by: The Ethics Committee
First reviewed: 01/07/2016
Last reviewed: 01/01/2018
Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this document. This is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

Unpaid fee notes – confidential and privileged material in fee notes – use of fee notes in seeking payment of fees – limited waiver by clients and solicitors – appropriate redactions – use of debt recovery agencies – suggested terms to add to contracts with clients and solicitors


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This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise – and cannot be relied on as giving – legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please refer to the professional practice and ethics section of the Bar Council’s website here.

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