Call 020 7440 8888
Email [email protected]

Information about how I conduct business

Anyone, whether professional, licensed access or lay clients can contact my Chambers at 2 Bedford Row to obtain a quotation for legal services. The simplest route is to contact one of my clerks (go to: who will ensure that an enquiry is dealt with efficiently and quickly. I accept direct access instructions subject to the usual rules of the case being one where acting without the assistance of a solicitor is appropriate. My clerks will be happy to assist clients who wish to instruct me on a direct access basis.

In criminal cases, many defendants will have the benefit of a representation order and receive publicly funded assistance (often referred to as Legal Aid). In such cases a defendant will need to instruct a solicitor who will liaise with me to ensure the best representation is provided. If a defendant is publicly funded but makes a contribution towards that funding, their solicitor will be able to assist if issues arise concerning the level of that contribution.

In cases where clients wish to instruct me without public funding (often referred to as privately paying clients) my clerks are happy to discuss the most appropriate way of structuring payment of fees. Fees can be structured in a number of ways including a fixed fee for the case, payment of an agreed hourly rate or payment of ‘a brief fee’ (a brief fee pays for preparation of the case for the trial up to and including the first day of the trial) with separate payments for each additional day of the trial (often referred to as ‘refreshers’). The fees agreed will reflect my experience and seniority and all of the circumstances of the case, including, but not limited to, the seriousness and complexity of the case, the volume of the papers and preparation required, the commitment required to prepare the case properly and the length of time any case that goes to trial is expected to take. My clerks will strive to ensure that any payment arrangement is tailored to both the needs of an individual client and the circumstances of the particular case. Legal services attract VAT. I am registered for VAT and I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Professional Indemnity Insurance is in place for all the legal services I supply.

There are a number of different factors, which may influence the timescales within which I can provide legal services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The particular requirements of the client
  • My availability and my other diary commitments
  • The stage of proceedings when instructions are first received
  • The complexity of the case and the volume of material that will need to be reviewed
  • The level of funding available
  • The nature of the case and level of engagement from other parties involved in the case.

Upon accepting instructions in a case, I will ensure prompt, early advice, including a general assessment of the further work that is necessary and the timescale over which a client can expect the required legal services will be provided.

Useful website links

The following website links provide further information concerning the way barristers conduct their business:

Legal Ombudsman website decision data page –

BSB website barristers’ register page for Brian Altman KC –

BSB website Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients – download the information

Legal Choices website –

Call Brian Altman KC on 020 7440 8888 or email: [email protected]

Brian Altman KC is a barrister regulated by the Bar Standards Board