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What factors affect the timescales for delivery of legal advice or representation?

Potential clients should note that the following factors might influence the timescales and delivery of the legal services to be provided by a barrister:

  • late delivery of instructions and/or case documentation resulting in the barrister not having sufficient time to meet timescales or prepare for the work to be undertaken
  • failure to inform the barrister about work ordered by a court or of relevant deadlines, resulting in the barrister not having sufficient time to meet deadlines or to prepare for the work to be undertaken
  • illness of the barrister preventing her/him from being able to undertake work; whether the barrister is engaged on other complex client business, is away from work or preparing for – or conducting – a long trial
  • availability of third parties and witnesses
  • circumstances that result in the barrister having to take a leave of absence
  • matters that become listed for hearing by a court/tribunal at very short notice or require other immediate action, resulting in the barrister not being available to complete other work
  • Court/tribunal waiting times; and hearings that overrun, i.e. hearings lasting longer than the court had listed them for (for example, a case listed by the court to last one day in fact lasts two days). In some tribunals, a backlog of cases may mean a lengthy period between issue of proceedings and the final hearing stage.

Timescales for delivery of work by a barrister are usually agreed on an individual basis.

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