21 January 2018

BSB Handbook Explained – conducting correspondence

Do you know what is required if barristers conduct correspondence on behalf of their clients?

You must only conduct correspondence if you are satisfied it is in your client's best interests to do so, and you have adequate systems, experience and resources for managing the correspondence.

You must also have adequate insurance in place which covers any loss suffered by the client as a result of the conduct of correspondence.

Bear in mind that solicitors' offices have systems for logging incoming and outgoing correspondence and dealing with urgent letters in the absence of the fee earner, which your chambers may not be able to offer.

In addition, where the other side is legally represented and you are conducting correspondence in respect of the particular matter, you are expected to correspond at all times with that other party's legal representative.

Finally, barristers who are not authorised by us to conduct litigation must ensure they do not do so.  Our view is that the following fall within the definition of "conducting litigation", and therefore you should refuse to do them if you are not authorised:

  • issuing proceedings or applications;
  • acknowledging service of proceedings;
  • giving your address as the address for service;
  • filing documents at court or serving documents on another party; and
  • issuing notices of appeal.