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DESIGN CHAMBERS
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & INTERNET BARRISTERS

Richard Hodgson       Michael Stephens
(door tenant)       Owen Keane

24 Arterberry Road,  Wimbledon,  London,  SW20 8AH,  United Kingdom
Tel:  + 44 (0) 20 7353 0747       General e-mail



Members of Chambers        CPD        Areas of Practice at a glance


 

Who we are

We are a small specialist set of English Intellectual Property, Data Protection, Internet, Media and Commercial Counsel.

We are willing to advise to advise on all matters from limited questions of discovery in a simple copyright case to appearing in major patent cases.  We also very much specialise in what we believe to be practical and cost-effective legal solutions to e-commerce, privacy and Internet problems, including questions of domain name entitlement and the drafting of legal contracts/agreements for e-business and other Internet/Web projects.  We will, of course, also consider the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 in appropriate cases.  We increasingly advise on all aspects of Data Protection Law, policies and audits.

Our aim is to offer a service to suit the needs of all types of lay and professional client - whether experienced in our fields of law or in quite different areas and maybe wishing to have more assistance or just reassurance.    We are pleased to offer what we hope is considered friendly telephone assistance whenever needed, whether for major matters where an opinion - or indeed a second opinion - is urgently required or for small points of practice and procedure in our fields.  

We very much make a feature of only holding conferences and CPD courses at professional clients' offices or attend site meetings or views at clients' premises (including factories and research facilities) in order to save time and overall costs.  This also has the advantage that papers, drawings, machines and the like can be rapidly obtained/checked if required during the course of a conference.  Travelling time is only rarely charged, and then only with prior agreement of the professional client.

PLEASE NOTE:  If a client is disabled and/or elderly, we are particularly happy to attend their home, nursing home or any other convenient place - no travelling time will ever be charged for such clients save in the most exceptional circumstances, such as conferences physically held overseas.

Members of Chambers have appeared in matters such as a 9 day High  Court patent action and follow-up applications to reopen the case after judgment - Charlesworth v Relay Roads & others [2000] RPC 300; [1999] 4 All.E.R. 397.  In that matter, the first instructions came only 4 working days before the trial commenced.

Our service is also very much offered to clients based outside the UK.

Originally established at 30 Fleet Street, we had to move to Wimbledon due a major refurbishment works at The Outer Temple where we were until the end of September 2000.  So as to maintain fees at what we hope are competitive levels, Chambers became "virtual" during the summer of 2004.  However, we can and do hold conferences at appropriate venues in both the Fleet Street and Westminster areas, usually at short notice.

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The sort of legal work we do

We are especially happy to undertake advisory, drafting or litigation work in the following areas:

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Who can instruct us?

Whilst barristers cannot presently accept instructions directly from UK lay clients (essentially anyone who is not a solicitor, patent or trade mark agent, accountant or similar professional - see below for non-UK clients) due to existing professional rules, we can give the names and contact details of several solicitors, patent or trade mark agents/attorneys (and accountants), who have experience in the Intellectual Property and Internet fields.  They can, if the lay client so wishes, then instruct a member of Design Chambers.  This entire process can be done very quickly, sometimes in under an hour for urgent matters from the first telephone contact to Design Chambers to a member of Design Chambers being instructed by the selected professional.

Some lay clients may prefer to contact their existing family or company solicitors who, even if their particular expertise is not in the IP, IT, Media or Internet fields, can then formally instruct us.

Direct professional access instructions are accepted.

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Where can meetings be held?

We are happy to arrange the place and time of conferences and views at the convenience of lay and professional clients, including at weekends.  As stated above,  being "virtual", we very much make a feature of holding conferences and CPD courses at professional clients' offices or attend site meetings or views at clients' premises in order to save time and overall costs.  Travelling time is only rarely charged, and then only with prior agreement of the professional client.  As stated above, if a client is disabled and/or elderly, we are particularly happy to attend their home, nursing home or any other convenient place - no travelling time will ever be charged for such clients save in the most exceptional circumstances, such as conferences physically held overseas.

If required, a conference or a view can be held out of the United Kingdom at a domestic level of fees plus disbursements.  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and arbitration are encouraged at Design Chambers wherever it appears to offer a cost or time effective solution to a particular dispute.

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Fees

As suggested above, we hope to be able to offer a realistic and flexible pricing structure and encourage the discussion of fees directly with the Barristers concerned.  We take a rather wide range of factors into account when discussing fees and are willing to discuss a set fee for appropriate cases.  We aim to send out fee notes well within any time frame previously agreed, and with due dispatch in any event.

We are willing to consider set fees for appropriate work.

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Foreign Litigation Support

Foreign litigation support is welcomed with the caveat that we can only advise, or appear, as English Barristers.  Fees at Design Chambers for such work are no higher than for equivalent domestic work (plus disbursements), and, we believe, will be seen as reasonable.  If required, we can suggest the names of law firms - including patent and trade mark agents/attorneys - in other countries, especially France, Singapore and Canada.

In appropriate cases, we are willing to take instructions directly from non-UK lay clients.  If the case concerns possible or actual litigation in England, we can give a list of some of English solicitors, patent agents or trade mark attorneys if the facts of the case require - or may require at a later stage - that these professionals also need to be instructed under the present English professional rules.

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CPD Legal Training

Members of Design Chambers have very wide experience of giving CPD - continuing professional development - courses (approved by the SRA and BSB) to solicitors and barristers.  We are happy to prepare and deliver cost and time effective in-house SRA approved courses of 1 to 6 hours duration on a wide area of intellectual property, data protection, information technology and media subjects.  These courses are conveniently given at the client's offices or other appropriate venue.  Relatively intensive and interactive but traditional (not PowerPoint based!) courses are now being increasingly requested.  Full notes (almost verbatim if required) are available to each delegate.  We believe that our courses are cost-efficient for many delegates and firms are courses.

For up to eight delegates, typical fees for a standard course (not per delegate) are in the range of 350 for a three hour course, 465 for a four hour course, and 675 for a full-day six hour course.  VAT, reasonable travel and subsistence expenses have to be added.  Travel time is not charged!  Fees for courses tailored to a client's specific needs are also keenly priced - please see our CPD page for further details.  Discounts are available if more than six hours are booked for a CPD year.

Courses can be arranged to be given during weekday evenings or weekends.

Details of some the standard CPD courses given by Richard Hodgson, including ones on data protection, patents, trade marks, passing off, copyright, designs and media law, can be found on the link entitled "Convenient CPD courses - by Design".  Richard has given numerous well-received CPD courses, including many BLS CPD ones (BLS was fully bought out by BPP in 2003).  Since 2005, he has given and continues to give a number of intensive intellectual property, e-commerce and data protection CPD courses for MBL Seminars, one of the major CPD course providers.

  Convenient CPD courses - by Design

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How to contact us

A member of Chambers can usually be contacted by telephone on + 44 (0) 20 7353 0747, both during the working day and, for very urgent matters, during the evening or weekend.  A similar service is offered by fax on + 44 (0) 20 8947 3869 and by e-mail - manager@designchambers.comIf urgent, please e-mail: urgent at designchambers.com    Please note that clicking on this e-mail "link" will not do anything!  This is in the (probably vain) hope that this address will not be picked up by too many virus or spam harvesting programs.

The majority of our instructions are now sent in the first instance by e-mail.



 
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