Kings View Chambers Info
Kings View Chambers, London with Stephen McCaffrey & Catherine Stock: Review
If you've quickly scanned the length of this article, you'll probably be surprised to learn that Kings View Chambers was only founded in 2014 and currently has only two barristers on the staff. So why have we sought out such a relatively new, small chambers to add to our network? There are a few reasons, but the one that caught our eye initially was the case range. Wherever you've seen me use words like 'niche' or 'unique' in the past - this firm's range is the epitome of unique.
Whilst the firm's two barristers, Stephen McCaffrey and Catherine Stock, have over 20 year's experience between them - there's very little history to cover when it comes to the title firm. However, they decide to play on their newness with a bold statement on the front page of their website:
Being able to work directly with clients rather than having to go through a solicitor is the result of the still-fairly-new 'Direct Access' initiative. A barrister has to be qualified to do so, but being able to hire a barrister directly to represent your interests in court can save both time and money for a huge range of cases where a solicitor would usually have to hire someone on your behalf.
Kings View are committed to the principal of Legal Aid and will endeavour to utilise where possible. They state other selling points too such as a 24/7 helpline, teleconferencing availability, and being experts in their respective fields. But before you go grabbing the phone, we're going have to provide a more in-depth description of that last one.
Their focus is very much on defending people, but not just in criminal matters. If you are a nurse or midwife being brought before the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) as the result of a complaint or allegations of wrong-doing. If you're a doctor being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) over professional misconduct. Even if you're a chiropodist, physiotherapist, or dietician facing the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) - KingsView Chambers actively advertise their desire to help with your case.
They provide a similar service for Taxi drivers if you've been refused a driver's licence or had it revoked/suspended. Pubs, nightclubs, hotels, off-licenses, restaurants, etc. can get advise on their own licensing issues. As mentioned before, they do cover criminal defence work and even seem to indicate such cases making up the bulk of their 20+ years experience. But they can also get involved in Coroner's Inquests helping either the bereaved family or the professionals involved in the investigation.
I hope you'll agree now that my use of the word 'unique' to describe their case range was well founded. So what about the barristers themselves?
Stephen McCaffrey is Head of Chambers at Kings View Chambers having become a barrister in 2007. Prior to practice at the Bar he worked in a criminal defence firm covering difficult cases. He still covers criminal work, but now also specialises in healthcare law and regulation defending healthcare professionals in courts and tribunals. How he describes himself?
Catherine Stock is a barrister and qualified nurse gaining a First Class Honours BSc degree in Medical Law and a BA in Health & Nursing. She did actually work as a nurse within the NHS for some years before being called to the Bar in 2007. She has since defended a variety of clinicians brought before disciplinary/regulatory tribunals and can advise on how to respond to complaints, registration issues, fitness to practice, and more. She also lectures in advocacy training for solicitors and police officers.
The firm's website does have a news section with actual news in it (rather than simply lots of extra sales pitch-y pages) For example, Stephen has been appointed as standing counsel for TaxiFy. It sounds very much like Uber, but TaxiFY is an Estonian ridesharing startup with over 2.5 million customers worldwide that launched in London with over 3000 licensed drivers.
The firm was also quoted in one very interesting article about Boris Johnson where campaigners noticed a flaw in law. Whilst elsewhere in England & Wales you could not be a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and an MP, the rule has never been applied to London's Mayor despite the title of Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). Protester's hoped to force the courts to clarify and bar Boris from being both. Mr McCaffrey said:
The official website we link to is www.kingsviewchambers.com, not www.kingsviewchambers.co.uk which currently has no website at it. There are other websites such as www.stephenmccaffreybarrister.com out there with information about the firm and staff, but I would imagine the official one will be the most up to date. Considering that variants such as www.kingschambers.com, www.kingsview.com and www.kingsview.co.uk are all owned by other firms as well, it's very advisable to bookmark the site just in case.
In fact we found Catherine and Stephen's names popping up on dozens of other websites either as result of work done or partnerships with other firms. This only helps to re-enforce the idea of saving the website rather than trying to find it again later on. (If you haven't read any articles on fake solicitor email scams - find one and get aware.) It has always been a popular idea amongst law firms to have a series of specifically tailored websites and King View have done the same with www.licensingdefencebarristers.co.uk, www.gmcdefencebarristers.co.uk, www.nmcdefencebarristers.co.uk, www.taxidefencebarristers.co.uk, and so on. www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk did show up in the search results, but we could find no link between them and King's View.
We always run a firm's website through several devices and browsers to check. Whilst our modern Windows and Mac machines had no problems, and our phone's browsers displayed everything well - we did have trouble displaying some pages on our older Mac. Technically speaking if you remove the 's' from the https:// part of the web URl in an old browser you'll see a site displayed, but obviously the 's' indicates a level of 'security' so that removal is at your own risk should you be faced with no other alternatives.
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 Kings View Chambers it's best to visit the website (www.kingsviewchambers.com), 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.
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