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Whether you are a professional, organisation, member of the public, or small or large corporation, LLP, partnership, or government client please feel welcome to approach our members directly by e mail, telephone, or in writing under the public access scheme and to use the practice area and barrister’s pages on this site to help you determine which barrister would be most appropriate for your case. International clients are welcome.

Once you have chosen the barrister whose services you wish to engage and have checked that the barrister is both qualified and willing to accept instructions from you or your organisation then you or your organisation will be asked to provide –

  • identification and verification evidence and
  • to sign a client care letter

both of which are necessary requirements for compliance under the public/direct access schemes of the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales (“BSB”).

Identification and verification evidence is required as members of the legal profession are required to comply with the United Kingdom statutory scheme set out in The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (“the regulations”). In particular your attention is drawn to regulation 28 of the regulations.

Key Areas

Requirement for identification and verification evidence

Individuals.

To satisfy the above regulations you will be required to produce to your chosen barrister –

  • photoidentification of either a current passport or a UK/EU driving licence and
  • a copy of a utility bill for your home as evidence of your residence or a bank/building society statement, council tax bill (local taxes bill for international clients).

Privately owned companies/entities.

Again, to satisfy the above regulations the following identification evidence will be required including –

  • full name,
  • registered number,
  • registered address in country of incorporation,
  • business address,
  • names of all executive directors (Chairman, CEO, CFO, COO) and
  • names of individuals who own or control 25% or more of the shares or voting rights.

For verification you/your organisation will be required to provide –

  • the full name,
  • registered number,
  • registered address in country of incorporation,
  • business address (if different than from the registered address),
  • names of all executive directors (Chairman CEO, CFO, COO) and
  • identity evidence for the individual dealing with the transaction,
  • and names and identity documentation (see for individuals above) of individuals who own or control 25% or more of its shares or voting rights.

If the organisation or entity says that it does not have ultimate beneficial owners of 25% or more then evidence of ownership is required along with evidence of the source of the funds which will be used to pay the chosen barrister’s fees.

In addition, you will need to tell your barrister in writing of –

  • the type and nature of the industry in which your organisation or you operate and
  • whether you or your organisation trades with or operates in high risk countries. For example, financial action task force (FAFT) non-cooperation countries or countries which are subject to United Nations sanctions.
For listed entities/companies

If you are a company whose shares are traded on a recognised stock exchange. The above regulations require you to provide the following identification evidence to your chosen barrister namely –

  • for identification in relation to an approved stock exchange,
    • the full name,
    • registered number,
    • Registered address in country of incorporation,
    • business address (if different from the registered address),
    • name of exchange on which your organisation is listed. If the stock exchange is an unapproved stock exchange –
    • the names of all executive directors (Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Finance Officer, COO) and
    • names of the ultimate beneficial owners of 25% or more of the voting rights (further due diligence may be conducted by your chosen barrister).
  • or verification for an entity on an approved stock exchange the following verification evidence will be required to be supplied to the barrister you have chosen to instruct including, for approved stock exchange,
    • proof of listing by either a print out or electronic import), for a subsidiary of an entity listed on an approved stock exchange proof of 51% or more ownership by the listed entity. Where the company is listed but not on an approved stock exchange –
    • a print out of the web page of a government sponsored corporate registry,
    • formation document,
    • proof of ultimate beneficial ownership and
    • audited annual report. Financial statements.

In all cases identification evidence for the individual dealing with the instructions to counsel and payment of fees to counsel will be required as for individuals.

Where the listed entity is not on an approved list and does not have 25% or more ultimate beneficial owners then evidence of –

  • who the owners are along with the source of the funds being used to pay counsel’s fees will be need to be provided.

In addition, please inform your chosen counsel in writing of

  • the type and nature of the industry or profession in which the listed entity operates, and
  • whether the entity trades with or operates in high risk countries (for example FATF non-co-operative countries).
Government Agencies or entities.

In relation to clients that are the UK government or an overseas government, supra national organisations, government departments, local authorities and central banks then to satisfy the above regulations please provide your chosen barrister with –

  • your entities full name, address,
  • status and type of entity,
  • name of home state authority, and
  • where your entity is registered or domiciled in a high risk country the names of all the executive directors of your entity (Chairman, CEO, CFO, COO) or equivalent.

For verification please provide proof of your entities existence that is consistent with practices in the local business market including where applicable –

  • a print out of a web page of a government sponsored corporate registry, proof of the ownership of the government entity.
  • proof of ownership for government entities and the overall control and ownership structure of your government entity with identification evidence (as above) for the individual dealing with the instructions and payment of counsel’s fees.

Please also inform your chosen barrister of the nature of the government entity and business in which it operates. In addition, whether it operates in any high risk countries which are subject to United Kingdom sanctions or FATF non-co-operative countries.

Client care letter.

As part of the public access scheme a barrister is required to have in place a written client care letter from each public access client or entity as signed by the client before any work can be done or advocacy/representation can be provided to you or your organisation.

Each barrister member of Tennyson has their own public access client care letter (which is the written contract between the client and the barrister for the services that the barrister is to provide to the public access client). Please ask your chosen barrister to send you his/her public access client care letter for you to sign.

Your attention, and if applicable your organisation’s attention, is drawn to The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which govern relations between a trader and a consumer including cancellation rights.

Payment of Counsel’s fees by International clients.

Barristers authorised to practice in England and Wales are not allowed under the Bar Standard’s Board of England Wales’s Bar Handbook Code of Conduct to have a client account or handle client money (e.g. client hearing fees and expert witness fees). Such barristers are however able to receive their agreed fees from the relevant solicitor or public access client.

The Bar Services Company Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 03851920 whose registered office is 299-293 High Holborn London WC1V 7HZ (“Bar Co”) provides a method by which international clients who are not resident in the United Kingdom may provide payment of counsel fees, including –

  • payment of fees in their local currency, and
  • the payment is held by a third party services company, Bar Co, under their terms of service for payment to Counsel.
  • Please ask your chosen barrister for more information about setting up a Bar Co account to facilitate the payment of your Counsel’s fees.
Contact Us

For more information about our members and services please contact us.

Our telephone number in Southampton United Kingdom is +44 (0) 2381 511511.

For clients wishing to have a conference in London United Kingdom then please dial the London UK appointments number of +44 (0)203 407 0047.

Alternatively, you may email practicemanager@tennysonchambers.com.