Two Harcourt Buildings Info
Two Harcourt Buildings Chambers - 2HB Barristers in London: Review
Two Harcourt Buildings may be a setup you're not familiar with because prior to recent changes in how the public can access legal help, you would have had to pay a solicitor just to get introduced to a barrister that can actually represent you in court. Thankfully the legal industry is modernising and progress is speeding up in some areas.
However before we get into that, we should probably share the opening line of this particular chambers' website. If you've already been through a dozen other law firm's sites before reaching this article and have started to think just how alike they all seem to be in both language and imagery - this will be a happy jump into cold water for you:
The majority of solicitor practice boasts about long establishment dates are often tenuous at best and sometimes absolute nonsense. Such as one law firm we saw claiming a 150 year history in their town simply for moving into a building previously occupied by a much older firm. 2HB clearly has made no such misleading attempt with that almost slap-in-the-face attention grabbing statement.
Again, if you have already flipped through many other firms looking for a good legal match for your case you'll have seen a lot of sentences with great sounding words. Sadly, many of them do you not help you pick a firm. For example if a firm claims to be modern, efficient, and friendly - that sounds great. But of course they will all say that. No firm is going to claim it is archaic, inefficient, and unfriendly. So what sentences should you watch out for to help you choose?
If you've read any of our articles before you'll most likely have seen us praise The Law Society of England & Wales for their impressive user database giving a wealth of data on every member firm and solicitor. However barristers in the same countries are under The Bar Standards Board (BSB) which we've historically had much less positive words to say about. Not least because they provide very little data on firms and a search function that is hard to find and harder to navigate.
On the Bar Standards Board's site you can't always look up by overall firm name and even when you do find a page on an individual chamber's member the information is certainly not layman-friendly. If you check out pages on some barristers at Two Harcourt Buildings such as Paul Cavin, James Dawes, or Jennifer Knight you'll see 'Rights of Audience' or 'Conduct of Litigation' as titles for pieces of information which will likely mean nothing to most people. We've been doing this 20 years and didn't understand a lot of it either.
Thankfully, Two Harcourt Buildings try to make up for this with plenty of descriptions and much less jargon on their own site such as this page about instructing a barrister and details about the various fee structures. Clarity for the public should be just as important to the Bar Standards Council but, at the moment at least, it does not seem to be.
Coming back to the differences in setup mentioned before, a law chambers is not like a law firm of solicitors. The latter is typically a full team of various staff working together with receptionists, PAs, HR department, meeting rooms, and waiting rooms with plants, magazines, and the obligatory fish tank. A chambers is more like an introduction umbrella between clients and possible representation. Once you've selected a barrister to work with, you will be dealing directly with them at all times for very specific jobs to be done or advice to be given.
Hiring a barrister can absolutely save you time and money compared to going through a solicitor and can cover a wide range of case types. But make sure to check through each chamber's website and have a good chat with someone on the phone to get some clarity about the Public Access Scheme in relation to what you need.
Because of this individualist approach within a chambers, it is very difficult to find reviews on any of them in the same way you would a solicitor's practice. If you search the usual comment boards such as Google, Trustpilot, or Facebook there may only be a handful of reviews or ratings and they will always be about the actual barrister that handled the case. Not the chambers as a whole.
The snippets above are therefore gathered from various industry websites such as The Legal 500 and the official Chambers rankings. As you can see, each is still specifically about one particular barrister. So whilst The Direct Access scheme is a major, massive, and immensely helpful shake up to the legal system allowing members of the public to deal direct with their representation rather than paying a solicitor to be a go-between - there is still a long way to go.
A quick note on navigation is needed because there are many chambers with similar names and some even sharing the same address. Two Harcourt Building's official website is the helpfully short www.2hb.co.uk but www.2hb.com is not owned by them and there are several variants such as www.harcourtchambers.co.uk as well. These variant firms are separate teams of barristers despite sharing the same address. That's because whilst the head office is technically located in the same building, most barristers work from home or out of offices near their home. They do not travel into those official addresses every day for work.
There are many other differences between solicitors and barristers but we just wanted a quick article to assure you that if you are struggling to find background information on any chambers - you're not alone. Hopefully that will change soon but the ruling body (The Bar Standards Board) are not the most forward thinking organisation when it comes to either their lawyer members or the public. We've been working in this industry for over 20 years now and have seen a huge amount of progress and changes.
We obviously think very highly of Two Harcourt Buildings chambers as we've recommended them across our network for a few years now. We also think very highly of the comparatively new Direct Access Scheme which should have been released way before now. But still make sure to flick through and chat with a few different options for your case type before settling on someone. Especially if there isn't much extra independent information to base a decision on instead.
General Notes: Usually if Legal Aid is possible we've mentioned it above, but you can always ask. We haven't looked in depth at their recruitment program so are unaware of any job vacancies available. For a career with Two Harcourt Buildings it's best to visit the website (www.2hb.co.uk), check opening hours, and find the correct phone/email contact details. Simply emailing a CV to reception looks lazy. Each law firm's Law Society and/or SRA number should be on their site, usually at the bottom of each page.
This Two Harcourt Buildings article is rated
4.8 / 5 based on 37 reviews. †
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