"The barristers prove particularly adept at handling high-value complex cases and are well supported by clerks who ‘provide a friendly and efficient service"

Client Confidentiality Policy

 

Introduction

These Guidelines are for use in circumstances where Members of Byrom Street Chambers are instructed on behalf of different parties in the same action.

The Guidelines are designed to assist barristers from being in breach of paragraph 603 of the Code of Conduct (confidentiality). They do not relate to the circumstances in which a barrister must, for reasons of professional embarrassment such as a conflict of interest, accept a brief or instructions pursuant to paragraph 501 of the Code of Conduct. 

Guidelines

Consideration has been given to the following areas where a breach could occur:

Informing Solicitors

At the outset of litigation there may be a time when opposing parties will not want the fact that they have taken legal advice to be made known. We respect this confidentiality. 

In these circumstances each barrister must ensure that his / her clerk is aware of the fact and must inform their clerk when the position changes. 

In any event, and as soon as practicable, both barristers should be told of each other's involvement. 

Once both barristers have been informed, both sets of solicitors will be informed of Chambers practice in such circumstances.

Clerking

We provide separate clerking where members appear against each other in cases and Solicitors will be informed so that they can deal with the relevant clerk. 

A note will be added to the case on the Chambers computer system to ensure that clerks / administrative clerks are aware which clerk has been appointed to deal with each party. This will appear as a memo which automatically pops up when the case is accessed. From the time a conflict is known, the appointed clerk shall deal with all communications from that party.

Papers

Great care is taken to ensure papers are kept confidential to the barrister working on the case. A conflict check is carried out when the papers are received in Chambers so that separate clerking can be arranged as soon as possible.

Where particularly sensitive documents are to be delivered, the appointed clerk will make arrangements with solicitors to ensure security. We ensure secure disposal of documents by security vetted waste disposal contractors. We also shred confidential documents if it is thought appropriate so to do.

Diaries

We maintain secure electronic diaries. 
Individual diaries are not freely available for inspection by other barristers. 

Telephone Calls

If a clerk deems it necessary, in order to maintain confidentiality, when having a particular conversation with Instructing Solicitor or Counsel, they may ask the other clerk to leave the room until that conversation has taken place.

Faxes

Barristers do not personally retrieve faxes. The main fax machines are in the clerks' room, with incoming faxes being sent to a particular PC. All faxes are logged onto the Chambers computer system from which it will be noted that this is a case in which Chambers acts for both sides. The person dealing with the fax will email this to the barrister dealing with that particular party and hand a copy to the assigned clerk, who will ensure that this is delivered to the barrister in the same way as other documents. 

All clerks will ensure that all outgoing faxes are removed promptly from the fax machine.

Printing of documents

In cases where a conflict occurs, Barristers who use the printers in the clerks room should inform the administrative clerks if they are printingto these printers so that the documents can be removed from the printer and placed in their trays or in an envelope depending on the sensitivity.

E-mails

All barristers have their own e-mail addresses but in any event the Clerks email box will be monitored to ensure thatthe procedure above for faxes is maintained.

Barristers' Rooms

If members share a room with Counsel on the opposite side of a case then they are responsible for ensuring that all papers pertaining to that case are kept either at home or in a separate store room.