The Bar has traditionally retained its identity as a 'referral' institution both in Hong Kong and the UK. This means that client access to a barrister usually requires a solicitor or the Director of Legal Aid or the Government. There are however some exceptions to this general rule and barristers may accept instructions directly from recognised institutions. They can also act, without the involvement of a solicitor, as third party neutrals in alternative dispute resolution procedures, for example, as mediators, adjudicators, arbitrators and umpires. For more information, please consult Articles 50 and Annexes 19A, 19B, 19C, 19D and 20 of the Bar’s Code of Conduct and the section of this website concerning Arbitrators/Mediators.
Confidentiality and Independence
Des Voeux Chambers is not a firm, nor are its members partners or employees. Chambers is made up of separate, self-contained offices of about 70 individual barristers. Each is self-employed and each works independently. These 'walls' allow barristers within the same Chambers to be often retained by opposing sides in the same dispute, regardless of how sensitive or contentious the matters are. Whilst members share some common resources, they (along with their staff) ensure that they adhere to the professional duties owed by Counsel to their clients, including but not limited to the duty to treat communication as confidential and privileged, and to avoid conflicts of interest.