Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme
The Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme (“CLIPS”) started in January 2014. Barristers provide free legal assistance to litigants in person appearing in the Judges’ Applications List, which is where High Court Judges hear urgent applications for interim remedies such as injunctions or other orders made in or prior to a claim, under CPR Part 25.
The scheme is run by the Chancery Bar Association in conjunction with the RCJ Advice Bureau and the Bar Pro Bono Unit. It is supported by the Personal Support Unit in the RCJ and by LawWorks, the solicitors’ voluntary service to assist litigants in person.
The representation aims to operate in the following way:
- Under the scheme one or two barrister volunteers are available each Interim Applications day during the legal term from 10:00am.
- Initially they will be outside Court 10 in the Rolls Building, where there is a dedicated conference room available (Room 18).
- Litigants in person in need of assistance may make contact with the barrister(s) volunteering on that day. The court usher on duty that day will aim to facilitate this.
- At 10:30am the volunteer barrister(s) will go into court, with the other legal representatives involved in Interim Applications on that day.
- The Judge in charge of the Interim Applications court will call on each of the applications to be made that day in turn.
- The Judge will also invite any litigant in person to consider whether they would like to make use of the free advice or representation available. There is no requirement on the litigants to accept the assistance of the barrister volunteer.
- The barrister(s) may give advice and may, if appropriate and possible, represent the litigant in court, or assist the litigant in person in making submissions to the Judge.
- So far as possible, the Judge will try to allow the volunteer barrister and the litigant time to consider the application before it is heard.
- If the barrister is not needed in court he or she will return to Chambers at about 11:00am but will be contactable by telephone up to 4:30pm.
One of the RCJ Advice Bureau volunteer case workers will also be available in the Rolls Building near Court 10 in case other assistance is needed.
For further information on the Judges’ Applications List, or procedure in the Chancery Division more generally, can be found in the Chancery Guide (PDF), as well as the “Bringing a case in the Chancery Division” page of the website.