Terms

 

  1. This page, together with the documents hyperlinked from it, set out the Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) for visitors to the website https://www.directaccessportal.co.uk/, including users of the Direct Access Portal (“Portal”). 

  2. Users of the Portal (“Users”, “you”) include:

i. Members of the public, businesses and enterprises of any size, including multinational incorporations and global conglomerates, charitable organisations and other relevant entities (“Prospective Clients”) seeking assistance with a legal issue.

ii. Practising barristers in England and Wales (“Barristers”) who are qualified to undertake direct access work and are advertising their services on the Portal having paid us the Bar Representation Fee

iii. Employees of practising barristers in England and Wales (“Clerks”), who have been authorised to access the Portal on their behalf in order to provide them with administrative support.

iv. The acts of seeking assistance with a legal issue, advertising services on the Portal, and having access to the Portal in order to provide administrative support shall, for the purposes of these Terms, be collectively known as the “Approved Purposes”).

  1. The Portal is owned and operated by the Bar Council of England and Wales® (“Bar Council”, “us”, “we” and “our”) and is subject to the Notice of Copyright. Our principal offices are at 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ and our VAT Number is 404524779.

  2. By using the Portal, Users accept these terms. You must read these Terms carefully before you start to use the Portal. By using the Portal, you confirm that you accept these Terms and agree to abide by them. If you do not agree to these Terms, you must not use the Portal.

  3. From time to time, we may update these Terms. Every time you wish to use the Portal, please check these Terms to ensure you understand them as they apply at that time.

Accessing the Portal

  1. Access to the Portal is permitted on a temporary basis, and we reserve the right to withdraw or suspend or restrict the availability of all or any part of it for business or operational reasons, including in circumstances where a User is no longer eligible to use the Portal as per clauses 11 to 13 below, without notice. 

  2. We do not guarantee that the Portal will always be available or be uninterrupted. We will not be liable if for any reason the Portal, or any part of it, is unavailable at any time for any period.

  1. If you choose, or you are provided with, a user identification code, password, or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential. You must not disclose it to any third party.

  1. We have the right to disable any user identification code or password, whether chosen by you or allocated by us, at any time, if in our reasonable opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Terms.

  1. You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to the Portal. You are also responsible for ensuring that any person who uses the Portal on your behalf is aware of these Terms and complies with them.

User eligibility

  1. Barristers may only use the Portal if they:

i. are registered with the Bar Standards Board as a practising barrister in England and Wales; and

ii. are properly qualified under rC120 of the Bar Standards Board Handbook to undertake direct access work; and  

iii. have paid us the Bar Representation Fee.

  1. Clerks may only use the Portal where they are employed by a Barrister or a chambers or entity thereof, and that Barrister makes a request through Portal for one or more Clerks to be provided with access to their account.

  2. Prospective Clients may only use the Portal if they are legally capable of entering into this form of contract and are at least 18 years of age.

  3. You agree that you will ensure that all details which you input to the Portal true, accurate, current, and complete during the period of use by you of the Portal and/or the period during which such details may be accessed by others. 

Prohibited Use

  1. You may not:

i. use the Portal for any purposes other than the Approved Purposes.

ii. modify, create derivative works from, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any technology used to provide the services.

iii. upload, transmit or post any computer viruses, worms or Trojan horses, time-bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful files, programs or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware. 

iv. do anything to disrupt, damage, impair, interrupt, slow down or effect the functionality of the Portal.

v. impersonate another person or entity or create a false identity for the purpose of misleading any other User as to the identity of the sender or the origin of a message.

vi. upload abusive, sexually explicit, obscene or pornographic, false or misleading, hate speech, xenophobic or similar, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate material or content. 

vii. do anything that would interfere with another User’s ability to use or enjoy the Portal or any related services or that would discourage a User from using the Portal or engaging our services.

viii. send, upload, post or otherwise make available any solicited or unauthorised advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail”, “spam”, “chain letters”, “pyramid schemes” or any duplicative or unsolicited messages.

  1. Barristers and Clerks may not use Personal Data obtained through the Portal other than in accordance with clauses 19 to 23 below.

  1. Failure to comply with clauses 15 and 16 above constitutes a material breach of these Terms and may result in our taking all or any of the following actions (at our sole discretion):

i. Immediate, temporary, or permanent withdrawal of your right to use the Portal.

ii. Immediate, temporary, or permanent removal of any posting or material uploaded by you to the Portal.

iii. Legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs on an indemnity basis resulting from the breach (including, but not limited to, all legal costs).

iv. Disclosure of such information to law enforcement authorities or regulators as is reasonably necessary or as required by law.

  1. We exclude liability for actions taken in response to breaches of clauses 15 and 16 above. The actions described above are not limited and we may take any other action we reasonably deem to be appropriate.

Our data protection obligations towards Users of the Portal 

  1. We will process your Personal Data in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation. For the purposes of these Terms:

i.  “Data Subject”, “Personal Data”, “Processor” and “Controller” shall have the meanings set out in the applicable Data Protection Legislation.

ii. “Data Protection Legislation” “Data Protection Legislation” means all applicable data protection
and privacy legislation in force from time to time in the United Kingdom (UK) including without limitation the UK GDPR; the DPA 2018; the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 as amended, and the guidance and codes of practice issued by the Information Commissioner, and which are applicable to the Parties.

iii. “DPI 2018” means the Data Protection Act 2018 (and regulations made thereunder).

iv. “UK GDPR” has the meaning given to it in section 3(10) (as supplemented by section 205(4)) of the DPA 2018.

  1. By using the Portal, you:

i. acknowledge that, we will be processing your Personal Data on the lawful basis that it is necessary
for the performance of a contract to which you are a party, or in order to take steps prior to entering into a contract (Article 6(1)(b) UK GDPR); and

ii. acknowledge that we will be processing any Sensitive Personal Data that you choose to disclose on the following lawful bases:

a. Article 9(2)(a) UK GDPR processing is based on the explicit consent of the Data Subjects.

b. Article 9(2)(f) UK GDPR processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims.

c. Article 10 UK GDPR processing is carried out under official authority or is authorised by law (in relation to Personal Data relating to criminal convictions and offences).

iii. warrant that all such information provided by you is accurate (and where relevant will be kept up to date).

  1. We will retain, on the Portal, the Personal Data of Prospective Clients that use the Portal to ‘Make an Enquiry’ for up to three months, after which period it will be securely destroyed. The Personal Data of all other Users will be retained on the Portal until the Bar Council either considers them ineligible under clauses 11 and 12 above, or their right to use the Portal is withdrawn in accordance with clause 17 above and clauses 54 and 55 below.

  2. From time to time, we may update our Privacy Statement. When we do, we will publish the changes on the Portal (together with a prominent notice drawing your attention to the changes) and/or notify you by e-mail.

Data sharing arrangements with Barristers 

  1. For the purposes of these Terms, the following definition applies:

i. “Agreed Purposes” means the purposes of processing an enquiry seeking assistance with a legal issue.

ii. “Shared Personal Data” means the Personal Data provided to us by Prospective Clients through the ‘Make an Enquiry’ area of the Portal and accessed by Barristers and Clerks for the Agreed Purposes.

  1. With respect to the parties’ rights and obligations under these Terms, the parties acknowledge and agree that the Bar Council and Barristers are both data controllers in respect of any Personal Data they process during their use of the Portal and under these Terms. The Bar Council and Barristers acknowledge that the Bar Council will regularly disclose to Barristers Shared Personal Data collected through the Portal for the Agreed Purposes.

  2. Each party shall comply with all the obligations imposed on a Data Controller under the Data Protection Legislation.

  1. The Bar Council and each Barrister shall:

i. ensure that it has all necessary notices and consents in place to enable lawful transfer of the Shared Personal Data to the Barrister for the Agreed Purposes.

ii. give full information to any Data Subject whose Personal Data may be processed under these Terms of the nature of such processing. This includes giving notice that, on the termination of these Terms, Personal Data relating to them may be retained by or transferred to one or more of the Barristers, their successors or assignees as relevant.

iii. process the Shared Personal Data only for the Agreed Purposes. 

iv. not disclose or allow access to the Shared Personal Data to anyone outside the Barrister.

v. ensure that all employees of the Barristers, including Clerks, and any third parties with access to the Shared Personal Data are subject to written contractual obligations concerning the Shared Personal Data (including obligations of confidentiality) which are no less onerous than those imposed by these Terms.

vi. ensure that it has in place appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of Personal Data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, Personal Data.

vii. not transfer any Personal Data received via the Portal outside the UK unless the transferor:

a. complies with the provisions of Articles 26 of the UK GDPR (in the event the third party is a joint controller); and

b. ensures that (i) the transfer is to a country approved by the UK as providing adequate protection pursuant to Article 45 UK GDPR; (ii) there are appropriate safeguards in place pursuant to Article 46 UK GDPR; or (iii) one of the derogations for specific situations in Article 49 UK GDPR applies to the transfer.

viii. Each Barrister shall assist the Bar Council (and the Bar Council shall assist each Barrister) in complying with all applicable requirements of the Data Protection Legislation, including providing the Bar Council with reasonable assistance in complying with any data subject request or other individual rights requests in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation.

a. notify the other party without undue delay on becoming aware of any breach of the Data Protection Legislation.

b. provide the other party with contact details of at least one employee as point of contact and responsible manager for all issues arising out of the Data Protection Legislation.

c. ensure that once Personal Data is no longer required and relevant retention periods have expired, the Personal Data is securely and permanently deleted in accordance with that party’s retention and disposal policies or returned to the originating party as appropriate. 
 

d. in the event of a dispute or claim brought by a Data Subject or a supervisory authority concerning the processing of Personal Data under these Terms against one or more of the parties, inform the other party about any such disputes or claims and cooperate with a view to settling them amicably in a timely fashion. 

e. Each party shall indemnify the other against all liabilities, costs, expenses, damages and losses (including but not limited to any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profit, loss of reputation and all interest, penalties and legal costs (calculated on a full indemnity basis) and all other reasonable professional costs and expenses) suffered or incurred by the indemnified party arising out of or in connection with the breach of the Data Protection Legislation by the indemnifying party, its employees or agents, provided that the indemnified party gives to the indemnifier prompt notice of such claim, full information about the circumstances giving rise to it, reasonable assistance in dealing with the claim and sole authority to manage, defend and/or settle it.

Copyright

  1. All rights, including copyright and database rights, in the Portal (and its contents), are owned by or licensed to us, or otherwise used by us as permitted by applicable law or the copyright holder. To the extent that any such rights are our property, such rights shall be retained by us.

  2. You may not remove any copyright, trademark or intellectual property notices contained in the original material from any material downloaded or copied from the Portal.

  1. We grant you a limited revocable license to access and use the Portal and the services for the Approved Purposes only, subject to your compliance with these Terms. This license does not include the right to collect or use information contained on the Portal for the following or any analogous purposes:

i. to create derivative works based on the content of the Portal;

ii. to sub-licence, retrieve, display, modify, copy, print, sell, distribute, download, hire, reverse engineer or create extracts of, or derivative works from the Portal;

iii. to download or copy the Portal or any part of it (other than page caching); or

iv. to create a database by systematically downloading substantial parts of the Portal.

  1. If you use the Portal in a manner that exceeds the scope of this license or you breach these Terms, we may revoke the license granted to you and take further action to recover losses and/or to prevent your future use of the Portal.

Trademarks 

  1. All names, images, logos identifying us or our services are our proprietary marks. All third-party names, logos, images, or branding relating to a company, product or service contained on the Portal are the trademarks, service marks and trade names of their respective holders. Unless you have obtained the holders’ explicit written consent (either from us or the appropriate third party), we do not give permission for any use of any such trademark, service mark or trade name by any person other than the holders. Any such use may constitute an infringement of the relevant holder’s rights.

Viruses, hacking and other offences 

  1. We do not guarantee that our site will be secure or free from bugs or viruses.

  2. You are responsible for configuring your information technology, computer programmes and platform to access our site. You should use your own virus protection software.

  3. You must not damage or attempt to damage the Portal by knowingly introducing viruses, Trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to the Portal, the server on which the Portal is stored, or any server, computer or database connected to the Portal. You must not attack the Portal via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of-service attack. By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities, and we will cooperate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use the Portal will cease immediately.

External links 

  1. The Portal may contain links to other websites in barrister profiles, which are beyond our control. Such links are provided solely for information purposes and shall not be construed as any form of recommendation or approval by us. 

  2. You hereby acknowledge that such third party websites are independent from the Portal, that we have no control over the content of linked third party websites and that you visit such third party websites entirely at your own risk. We accept no responsibility for the content of such websites, nor do we accept responsibility or liability for any losses or penalties whatsoever that may be incurred as a result of your use of any links to any other websites or reliance on the content of any website to which the Portal is linked or to which you are directed.

Framing, linking and deep-linking 

  1. You may not frame, link or deep-link the Portal to any other website without our prior written consent.

  2. You must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.

  3. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice.

Complaints

  1. If you have any complaints about the Portal, please e-mail us at d[email protected] and we will consider your comments carefully.

Our rights

  1. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved to the Bar Council.

  2. The Bar Council will always seek criminal prosecution of any individual who, or organisation which, seeks to use the Bar Council’s name, material, logos or trademarks for unlawful purposes and, where appropriate, will take action within the civil courts of any applicable jurisdiction against any individual or organisation discovered to be using the Bar Council’s name, logos, trademarks or the Portal for unauthorised or unlawful purposes.

  1. Any delay or failure by the Bar Council to exercise any right or remedy under these Terms shall not constitute a waiver of that right or remedy.

Disclaimer and warranties

  1. If you are a Barrister or Clerk, you acknowledge that all information on the Portal in relation to your profile has been provided by yourself and not by us.

  2. If you are a Prospective Client member of the public, you acknowledge that all information on the Portal in relation to your enquiry has been provided by yourself and not by us.  

  1. Accordingly, we are not able to warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or fitness for purpose of the information provided on the Portal. No responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of us for any errors, omissions, or inaccurate information on the Portal, nor are we responsible for how you use or interpret the information, or what reliance you place on it.

  1. The information and content of the Portal is not intended to, nor does it, constitute legal or other professional advice or services or a recommendation to purchase any product or service. 

  1. We do not accept any responsibility for the results of any action taken on the basis of the information provided on the Portal and all warranties, including implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose, non-infringement and accuracy are excluded to the fullest extent that they may be excluded under applicable law. To the fullest extent permitted by law the Bar Council will not be liable for any claims, costs, penalties, loss (whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether economic or special loss), damages or expenses arising from the use or from the inability to use the Portal or from reliance on information or on advice contained on the Portal or from any unauthorised access or alteration to it by a third party.

  1. We do not guarantee that the Portal (or any part of it) or any content is compatible with your computer equipment nor that the Portal (or any part of it), or its server, is free of errors or viruses, worms, bugs or Trojan horses, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. 

  1. We will try to make the Portal available but cannot guarantee that it will operate continuously or without interruptions, or be error-free, and can accept no liability for its unavailability. We will provide the service using reasonable skill and care and we make no warranties other than those made expressly in these Terms. We hereby disclaim to the extent permitted by law all other express or implied warranties (including without limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose and merchantability) other than those which cannot be excluded by law.  

Limitation of liability

  1. Except for liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or in relation to death and personal injury arising from negligence, neither you nor we shall be liable to each other for any indirect, incidental, punitive or consequential damages arising from the use of the Portal, any information contained on the Portal or any related services, including, without limitation use or loss of use, loss of data, profits, revenue, business or anticipated savings, whether in action of contract, negligence or other tortious action arising out of or in connection with the use of the Portal.

  2. Except for liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or in relation to death and personal injury arising from our negligence, we will not be responsible or liable to you or any third party for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty or otherwise, even foreseeable, arising or in connection with:

i. the content of websites to which the Portal provides links (and we do not accept responsibility or liability for any losses or penalties whatsoever that may be incurred as a result of your use of any links to any other websites or reliance on the content of any website to which the Portal is linked or to which you are directed);

ii. use of or reliance on any content displayed on the Portal;

iii. disruption, damage of your data or computer system which you may suffer as a result of the transmission of any errors or viruses, worms, bugs or Trojan horses, any distributed denial-of-service attack or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data or other proprietary material due to your use of the Portal, or to your downloading of any material posted on them, or any website linked to them or other such destructive feature via the Portal;  

iv. use of, or inability to use the Portal; and/or

v. deletion of any materials relating to your use of the service on our servers or otherwise in our possession following termination of your use of the Portal.

  1. Our liability to you or any third person for any or all damage or loss that may arise from the use of the Portal, any information contained on the Portal shall not exceed £100 (one hundred pounds sterling).

Termination

  1. If you are in material breach of these Terms we may (in our sole discretion):

i. suspend, limit your access to or terminate your use of the Portal and/or the service; and/or

ii. where relevant suspend, limit your access to or terminate your account with immediate effect. 

  1. If we terminate your use of the Portal, we may delete from our servers (and from the Portal) any information or materials relating to you (and/or your use of the Portal) subject to our requirements under the Data Protection Legislation and any retention requirements as set out in clauses 19 to 26 of these Terms.

Severability 

  1. If any of these Terms should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable, it/they shall be severed and deleted from these Terms and all other terms and/or conditions shall remain in full force and continue to be binding and enforceable.

Entire agreement 

  1. Without prejudice to your or our rights in respect of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, these Terms constitute the entire understanding and agreement between you and us regarding the subject matter of these Terms and supersede all prior and contemporaneous agreements and understandings between you and us regarding the subject matter of these Terms.

 

Rights of third parties 

  1. Notwithstanding anything else in these Terms, the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply to any contract between you and us and no contractual rights are conferred on any third parties.

Governing law and jurisdiction

  1. These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England. The courts of England shall, subject to clause 60 below, have exclusive jurisdiction over any claims, dispute or matter arising under or in connection with these Terms.

  2. We shall retain the right to bring proceedings in the courts of the country of residence of any user of the Portal.