The Bar Council offers, in conjunction with the Law Society, a
Joint Tribunal service for resolving fee disputes between
barristers and solicitors. The service can be invoked by either the
barrister or solicitor.
Once both parties have agreed to be bound by the decision of a
joint tribunal, the Applicant provides a written Statement of Case
with accompanying documents, and the Respondent provides a
Statement of Response. Further Statements can be made. A Joint
Tribunal then considers all the documentation submitted and makes a
decision. A Joint Tribunal may decide to hold an oral hearing, but
that is rare.
An award issued by a Joint Tribunal must be settled within 14
days. Any decision of a Joint Tribunal is final and there is no
appeal process. Failure to comply with an award is regarded as
unbefitting conduct and can lead to disciplinary proceedings.
The Joint Tribunal itself is composed of a barrister, normally a
QC, appointed by the Chairman of the Bar Council and a solicitor,
often a Council member, appointed by the Law Society.
There is no charge to either the barrister or the solicitor for
invoking or participating in the Joint Tribunal process.
To commence a Joint Tribunal, the barrister should send an email
asking for a tribunal, attaching a copy of the fee note in
We will then arrange for the necessary consents to be obtained
before the Tribunal process starts and before the barrister has to
issue his Statement of Case under the Joint Tribunal Standing
Further information about the Joint Tribunal process can be
obtained from the Bar