Pump Court Chambers Info
Pump Court Chambers Direct Access Barristers in London, Swindon & Winchester: Review
Ever since the new Direct Access scheme was introduced into the UK, we've been big fans. Prior to this you would have to hire a solicitor, tell them all about your case, then they would go hire a barrister and get them to handle your case in court. This always seemed un-necessary extra time and cost for clients.
Now whenever there are various court matters where you will need a barrister - you can usually hire one yourself directly. There are dozens of types of cases where this is applicable and for most of them it will certainly be more time and cost efficient to use a Direct Access barrister whom you've chosen to work with yourself rather than hiring a solicitor to pick one for you.
There is an ever growing number of such barristers qualifying to represent people under Direct Access. So choosing one is just as much a point of discernment as any other law firm selection. Statements like the one above are displayed on practically every legal firm's website. Words such as 'modern', 'leading', 'top', 'award-winning' and so on are thrown around as if they have no meaning. So how can you work out the best one for you between the lines?
At the bottom of most of their website pages Pump Court Chambers have a shortlist of 'badges' such as for the Family Law Awards, Top UK Chambers 2021, listed in the Legal 500, and so on. They also state:
Which all sounds great. A real established and recognised group. But there are far more comments that we notice, probably more so than most consumers. For example when they write they are 'based in london and focusing on the South and West' - that really stands out to us as a very positive message. We trawl through dozens of law firm's websites every day. Huge numbers of them state they provide their services 'nationally' in the hope of getting as many clients as possible. They want clients 2 miles, 20, or even 200 miles away.
The fact Pump Court Chambers seriously know, target, and service the people around them instead - is really a good sign (to us at least) that they do not overstretch themselves or want to provide lower quality services to anyone. It's not that they are a small firm either. They have offices in London, Swindon, and Winchester covering a wide range of case types and a wealth of resources behind them. That brings us to a quick note on what a 'chambers' actually is compared to something like a traditional high street solicitor.
That brief but good description found on Wikipedia indicates that, much more than with a solicitor, you are working with an individual barrister within a group rather than a firm as a whole. That should make communication far easier, clearer, and provide a more personalised experience throughout the case.
It does however cause some thought to have to be given when researching things like online reviews. If you flick through the reviews on regular haunts such as Google, Yell, Trustpilot, Yelp, etc. you'll see that many of the reviews are about specific individuals rather than a whole firm.
"Matthew was on hand at all times and took me through each step of the process"
"Very impressed with the service provided by Richard Wayman during an employment tribunal"
So make sure you really are happy with the barrister you speak to at the firm because they are the ones you'll be working closely with. Not the very nice helpful receptionist at the start of your enquiry.
A quick note on navigation as there are many chambers using 'pump court' in their name. The official website for this chambers is www.pumpcourtchambers.com which we link to above, with www.pumpcourtchambers.co.uk redirecting you there. Again though, a little thing like this impresses us because so many law firms don't bother spending the extra £5 to buy related domains to help protect their clients from easy fraud (which we'll cover in a second). Be aware that if you search for 'pump court barristers' or other related terms you may see www.onepumpcourt.co.uk, www.4pumpcourt.com, www.5pumpcourt.com, www.6pumpcourt.co.uk and more show up the search results. These are not just other offices of the same group of barristers. But the setup of barristers and why their names are all so related is for another article.
The Pump Court Chambers site is https secure for submitting your personal details online with their contact and callback forms. Also at the moment the majority of scams are targeted at property law firms because of the huge payoffs. People are being tricked into handing over their house deposits into a fraudster's bank account from just a simple official looking (but fake) email. Pump Court Chambers don't handle property matters, but you never know what scammers will come up with next.
Always make sure you are on the correct website and never discuss payments or bank details via email. Even if someone phones you up, you can always politely decline and ring back the firm on the official number you have. Again, Direct Access is not applicable or beneficial for absolutely every case type. However to be qualified to handle such, the barrister you speak to should absolutely be capable of informing you quite early on if your case can be handled under such before you part with a single penny.
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 Pump Court Chambers it's best to visit the website (www.pumpcourtchambers.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.
This Pump Court Chambers article is rated
4.8 / 5 based on 21 reviews. †
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