Joint Tribunal

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 to asking for a tribunal, attaching a copy of the fee note in dispute.

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 Orders.

Further information

Further information about the Joint Tribunal process can be obtained from the Bar Council.