We are willing to advise to advise on all matters from limited questions of discovery in a simple copyright case to 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 very much advise on all aspects of Data Protection Law, policies and audits, including GDPR-related issues.
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.
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 totally "virtual" during the summer of 2004. However, we can and do hold conferences at appropriate venues in the Covent garden, Fleet Street and Westminster areas of London, usually at short notice. We are also very much able and do to attend conferences out of London
· Intellectual Property: Designs of all types - whether registered or unregistered; Copyright - whether literary, musical, "computer" related or artistic; Impact of the implementation towards the end of 2003 of the important Copyright Directive - including what might now constitute fair use and what might or might not be an effective anti-piracy means, method or device; Trade Marks, Passing Off and Branding of all sorts, including Domain Names; Patents, especially mechanical and electronic; Confidentiality and Restraint of Trade; UK and EU competition law; Trade libel and malicious falsehood; Licence Agreements; Contracts and agreements, including book, magazine and music publishing matters; Performing rights; Ownership of rights; Conflicts of laws (private international law) relating to any IP matters; Application of the Human Rights Act 1998 - and the possible application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 - to intellectual property matters. Intellectual Property law arbitrations.
· Data Protection: Advice and - we hope - some practical commercial solutions under the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR as applied by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the late 2003 Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations as now amended in respect of computer "cookies" and the like which changed the legal landscape as far as unsolicited commercial e-mails ("spam") and cookies were concerned. Interaction between the Data Protection Act 1998/2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Data Protection Notices, Policies, Manuals and the like prepared and existing policies, manuals and the like reviewed and amended as required. Assistance given with Data Protection Audits. Complex data protection issues relating to "cloud" computing and storage. We can also advise on issues arising out of the Network Information and Security Directive and its UK implementation
· Internet and Digital Law: e-commerce law, including the important but sometimes overlooked effects of the Consumer Contracts Regulations (that replaced Distance Selling Regulations) as well as the Electronic Commerce Regulations. Impact of the late 2003 Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations as now amended on the use of "cookies" and "spam" (unsolicited communications sent by e-mail) and which itself is due to be amended by the most likely forthcoming EC ePrivacy Regulation 2018 (or 2019); All issues, including service level agreements (SLAs), relating to use of and storage in the "Cloud". Software agreements and licensing; Web-site Design agreements; ISP disputes; Web law, including Domain Name law, cybersquatting, file-sharing and all other cyberlaw; Disputes about the functioning of software, particularly bespoke software; Disputes about the functioning of hardware; all other Computer contracts; e-libel; privacy; interception of electronic communications; Conflicts of laws relating to Internet and Digital law matters.
· Media Law: Privacy; Defamation including libel; Film, TV and Video rights; Film, TV and Video agreements and licensing; Residual rights; Conflicts of laws relating to the same; Application of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2018 to media matters; "Freedom of Information" matters.
· Other Areas: Commercial law; Technical litigation, arbitration and contracts; Litigation support as may be appropriate, including support for non-UK lawyers and law firms.
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 in appropriate cases.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
CPD Legal Training
Members of Design Chambers have very wide experience of giving CPD - continuing professional development - courses to solicitors and barristers. We are happy to prepare and deliver cost and time effective in-house 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. The majority of th courses we give are either 2 or 4 hours long 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 (not per delegate) for our in-house courses are in the range of £350 for a two hour course and £525 for a four 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.
Richard Hodgson has presented CPD courses for over 17 years and has been a guest speaker for over 30 years. 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
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. The majority of our instructions are now sent in the first instance by e-mail.
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