This FAQ accompanies the “Welcome Package” provided to new members on their arrival to Francis Burt Chambers. Hopefully it will be informative. However, it is not exhaustive. New members are encouraged to read through the Welcome Package in its entirety and also meet with the Chair of Chambers and senior Chambers staff (particularly the Executive Officer, the Financial Controller, the Librarian and the Administration Assistant) in the first week of coming to Chambers.
Company: WA Bar Chambers Limited
Chambers is conducted through a company, WA Bar Chambers Ltd. The Company is the tenant under the lease of the premises at Allendale Square. All members of Chambers are issued with a share in the company. On a member departing from Chambers the share is to be transferred to an incoming member for no consideration.
The Company is managed by a Board drawn from the members of Chambers with the assistance of the Chambers’ staff (primarily the Executive Officer and the Financial Controller). There is a Board of 10 who are elected on an annual basis in November. The Board comprises:
- The Chairperson.
- The Deputy Chairperson.
- Six ordinary members.
- Two members drawn from those persons who have been members of Chambers for less than 3 years.
Members are encouraged to consider serving on the Board.
Day to day management of the Company is the responsibility of the Chairperson assisted by the Executive Officer.
After hours access
A swipe card is required to access Allendale Square outside of normal business hours. The lifts also require swipe card access outside of the following times:
Level 19: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Levels 12, 15, 16, 17 & 23: 7:45 am to 5:45 pm.
By prior arrangement with Allendale Square management it is possible for members to access loading bays located near Allendale Square’s underground car park. Access may be sought for delivery of furniture or office fit-out. Such access will only be available outside of normal business hours (Monday to Friday: 6:00 am to 7:45 am or 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday: 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.). It must be arranged in advance. You should contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449) if you wish to arrange after hours access through one of the loading bays.
Please be aware that Allendale Square management may impose a charge for such after hours access. For example, there is generally an hourly charge for access for removalists. Charges imposed by Allendale Square management will be on-charged to the relevant member. Accordingly, when seeking out of hours access though a loading bay you should clarify whether a charge will be payable.
Generally Allendale Square air-conditioning operates between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday. After hours air-conditioning may be activated by applying your swipe card against the reader located in the foyer of all Floors throughout Chambers. Please be aware, however, that Chambers incurs a substantial charge for after hours air-conditioning (a minimum $160 for the first 2 hours and then $80 per hour after that). The after hours air-conditioning charges you bring about will be on-charged to you and included on your normal monthly Tax Invoice.
Bicycle racks are located in the car park under Allendale Square. Space is limited. Keys may be obtained from Allendale Square management through the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449). In addition it is necessary to provide your own lock.
Car parking bays
Chambers is entitled to a limited number of car parking bays under Allendale Square. Access is off Sherwood Court. If a member with a car bay leaves Chambers or relinquishes his or her bay notification is given to all members who may then apply for that bay. Available car bays are allocated by the Board to members applying according to their seniority.
Chambers staff include:
- The Executive Officer (Ext – 500; Level 12). The Executive Officer manages the Chambers staff and should be contacted where more significant issues arise for members, e.g. room moves.
- The Financial Controller (Ext – 431; Level 16). Among other things the Financial Controller deals with members’ accounts.
- The Administration Assistant (Ext – 449; Level 12). The Administration Assistant is responsible for most day-to-day issues as to member services.
- The Librarian (Ext – 434; Level 17).
- The Mail Room staff (Ext – 562; Level 19).
- The Receptionists (Ext – 9; Level 19).
The Welcome Package contains a Telephone Directory with the contact details for all Chambers Staff. Photographs of the Chambers staff are also to be found in the Welcome Package. New Members are encouraged to visit the Chambers Staff (who are primarily located on Levels 12, 17 & 19) to introduce themselves.
The common room is located on Level 12. It is used as a place for members to eat lunch, to have morning teas and to meet after work. Many members attend the common room for drinks on Friday evenings.
It is requested that members not take drinks from the common room to consume in their own room. The purpose of stocking drinks for consumption in the common room is to assist in fostering the collegiate behaviour that has long been a hallmark of Chambers. Drinks and food provided in the common room should only be consumed in the common room.
There are conference rooms available for members on each of Levels 12, 15, 17, 19 & 23. Conference rooms should be booked in advance. To book a conference room please call Reception (Ext – 9).
The conference room on Level 12 has extra facilities including an LCD television, WiFi, white boards, Polycom conference telephone and Skype facilities.
Occasionally members seek to house solicitors, clients or inter-State counsel in a conference room. That is not permitted. Conference rooms are only intended for use for a conference in which a member is participating.
Solicitors and clients should never be left unattended within Chambers (even in a member’s own room). By arrangement with the Executive Officer visiting counsel who are working with a member on a matter may share a member’s room. Alternatively, depending on the length of the matter, it may be possible to arrange for visiting counsel to occupy an available room on a short term basis at the usual rates. Contact the Executive Officer (Ext – 500) if you wish to make arrangements on behalf of inter-State counsel.
If a member wishes to make arrangements for a law clerk or work-experience student to attend in Chambers that should be discussed with the Executive Officer (Ext – 500).
E-mail & internet
Chambers provides personal e-mail and internet access. This will be set up by a MetroWest IT soon after a new member’s arrival. You should speak with the Executive Officer (Ext – 500) to book a time for initial setup.
Chambers uses an e-mail naming convention of: firstname.lastname@example.org (i.e. initial/surname.)
MetroWest IT are able to setup your personal devices (e.g. phones, laptops & tablets) so that they can receive and send e-mail using the “francisburt.com.au address”. You should discuss this with MetroWest IT when arranging initial setup. E-mail can then be accessed externally through any device.
The e-mail service has an “Out of Office” notification function. It is suggested that where a member knows that he or she will be out of Chambers – particularly if he or she will be absent for a lengthy time – an Out of Office notification is set up. MetroWest IT can assist you to set up the Out of Office notification if you do not know how to do so.
Chambers has adopted a relatively standard policy as to use of e-mail and internet with a view to ensuring that there is no mis-use of those services.
Chambers will arrange certain insurances on behalf of members. Chambers takes out public liability insurance on behalf of members to a limit of $20 million. In addition, members can seek industrial special risk insurance & general property insurance. All policies run from the 12 months commencing 1 December. Chambers notifies members each year of the opportunity to take out or renew such insurances. Members are invoiced individually for the insurances that they take out.
IT support is available for members through MetroWest IT. MetroWest IT specialise in computer network design, installation and support services. MetroWest IT’s website can be found at www.metrowestit.com.au.
MetroWest IT attend Chambers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings between 8:30 am and 11:30 am. If a member wishes MetroWest IT to attend his or her room the member should book that attendance through Reception (Ext – 9).
MetroWest IT’s charges are on-charged if the services are of a personal nature relating to a member’s own IT needs (e.g. computer or software issues, setting up personal WiFi or personal devices, and networking printers.) Such charges will be included in your normal monthly Tax Invoice. However, members are not charged where the attendance relates to a Chambers’ network issue.
Kitchen facilities are available on each Floor. The kitchen facilities on Level 12 are more extensive.
The kitchens have tea and coffee for members’ use.
Members are requested to clean up after making use of the kitchen facilities.
Level 12 - mediation & arbitration facilities
The various conference rooms on Level 12 have been designed so that they may be used for the purpose of conducting arbitrations or mediations. On occasions they are booked by external parties for that purpose. Chambers charges those parties for the use of the facilities. When booked through a member for the purpose of arbitration or mediation a 50% discount applies. Please contact the Executive Office (Ext – 500) to enquire about booking the facilities on Level 12 for the purpose of conducting arbitrations or mediations.
The Library is located on Level 17. It is staffed by the Librarian (Ext – 434) and the Librarian Assistant (Ext – 449). The Librarian Assistant works on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays.
E-mail enquiries can be made through email@example.com.
The Library provides a research and reference service to support information needs of members. The Library staff will assist with research and offer guidance on the best way to undertake a research task. The Library staff will also assist in obtaining unusual materials for members. For example, the Library staff can obtain inter-library loans and access additional on-line materials to those that are available to members generally. However, it is not the role of the Library staff to conduct general research or photocopying of materials for members.
The Library will also arrange for purchases of books and other subscriptions on behalf of members. Chambers has discount arrangements with legal publishers such as LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters which result in a lower price for members when purchasing books and other subscriptions through Chambers. Charges incurred by the Company in purchasing books and other subscriptions on behalf of a member will be on-charged to the member, generally in a specific Tax Invoice.
New members should arrange a library induction with the Library staff.
Much of the Library’s materials are now to be found on-line. Members are referred to the “Online research services” section below. Members should also be aware that the Members Only portion of the Francis Burt Chambers website contains a dedicated Library intra-net Home Page from which there is a convenient access point to search the Library’s physical resources, pursue links to general on-line legal and other resources and quick links to the Library’s online research services through the various legal information providers.
It is strongly suggested that new members take the opportunity to browse the Library intra-net Home Page through the Members Only portion of the Francis Burt Chambers website.
Lighting and personal appliances
Throughout Chambers lights and personal appliances are regularly left on overnight or over the weekend serving no purpose other than to increase Chambers’ electricity bill and carbon footprint. Members will end up paying for the former; the community for the latter. Please endeavour to switch off your lights and other personal appliances – including computers and printers – as you leave the office.
Mailroom & mail
The Mailroom is on Level 19.
Outgoing and internal mail trays are located in the utility room on each Floor. Internal mail is collected and distributed twice a day, morning and afternoon. Outgoing mail should be placed in the outgoing mail tray by no later than 4:00 pm so that it can be sorted, franked and delivered to Australia Post by 4.45 pm.
Envelopes for outgoing mail should specify the member’s name. Alternatively, if your name is not printed on the envelope, initials should be clearly printed in the top-right corner in pencil. Details are required so that postage costs are recouped. Any postage charges will be included on your normal monthly Tax Invoice.
Please be aware that, unlike a law firm, Chambers does not maintain a mail book recording all outgoing mail. Chambers and Chambers staff will not assume responsibility for the recording of outgoing mail or proof that mail was delivered to Australia Post duly stamped. Accordingly, you should consider registered mail through Australia Post if it will be necessary to be able to prove that mail was sent.
If members wish to send correspondence or documents by courier that should be arranged through the Mailroom. You or your personal assistant should attend the Mailroom on Level 19. The courier charges are on-charged to you and will be included on your normal monthly Tax Invoice.
Mail and deliveries received for members is placed in pigeon holes located on each Floor. You will usually be informed by e-mail whenever a delivery is received. Mail and delivery runs occur at 8:30 am, 11:45 am, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
Any incoming facsimiles are directed to the Mailroom and are on-forwarded to the relevant member by e-mail.
Often members leave documents and completed Briefs in the Mailroom for collection. When doing so it is requested that the envelope or parcel be clearly marked as being “For Collection” and that it provide details of the person who is to collect (including telephone number so that they can be contacted if they fail to collect the materials within a reasonable time). The Mailroom has a “Mailroom Collection” form for this purpose (see Tab 6) and it greatly assists the Mailroom if the form, or something like it, is used. Members should also ensure that the person who is to collect the material is asked to do so as soon as practicable.
The Mailroom also contains a box in which used toner cartridges may be deposited for recycling.
Finally, the Mailroom will arrange dry-cleaning. Dry-cleaning should be delivered to the Mailroom before 9:00 am if same day dry-cleaning is required.
To report any general maintenance issues (e.g. light bulb replacements), premises issues (e.g. air-conditioning, cleaning or lifts) or arrange building services (e.g. picture hanging) members should contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449).
Otherwise members are directed to the Staff Content List within the Welcome Package. As a summary:
Chambers has a mentoring program for new members. The intention of the mentoring program is to nominate a senior barrister in proximity to you who will be available to discuss practice management issues. Please discuss with the Chair of the Company whether you wish to take part in the Chambers’ mentoring program.
Senior Counsel throughout Chambers are available to all members of the Bar to assist in advice or guidance as to professional or ethical issues that arise in the course of practice. You should not feel reluctant to approach any Senior Counsel when you have such an issue. One of the roles of Senior Counsel is to assist other member of the Bar in this way.
Members’ morning tea is available in the Common Room each Tuesday and Thursday at 10.30 am. Muffins and savouries are provided. This provides a good opportunity to meet and catch up with your colleagues. Please come if you are available.
Chambers arranges offsite record storage through Grace Records Management. Amounts charged to Chambers in respect of each member’s records as stored are on-charged to the member. Contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449) if you wish to arrange for offsite storage (or if you wish to purchase storage boxes.)
Online research services
Chambers, through the Library, has access to a number of online research services provided by legal information providers. Most of those services are general and apply in the same way for all members. However, the LexisNexis online service is tailored for each member.
At a new member’s induction with the Library staff he or she will be invited to choose the specific products to be included in the LexisNexis online service for that member.
The other services, generally available for all members, include:
Timebase - a legislation service;
Westlaw AU - which includes various reports, journals and unreported decisions; and
Westlaw UK - which includes UK decisions.
The online research services can be accessed through the Library intra-net Home Page on the Members Only portion of the Francis Burt Chambers website. With the exception of LexisNexis the various services recognise the IP address used by Chambers. Accordingly, if accessing those online research services from Chambers no password is necessary. As LexisNexis is individual to each member it is necessary that members provide a username and password to access LexisNexis (although it is possible to set up your PC or laptop to remember those details).
All services can be accessed externally, i.e. outside of Chambers. Again this can be done through the links on the Library intra-net Home Page. However, if accessing externally to Chambers the services will not recognise the IP address. It will be necessary for you to provide a username and password to use the service. The username and password for each service can be found by clicking on the key next to the link for the service on the Library inter-net Home Page.
The Librarian staff will provide guidance as to use of the online research services at induction.
Each Floor has a utility room in which one or more photocopiers are located.
All members are provided with an individual PIN to access the various photocopiers within Chambers. To activate a photocopier type in your PIN and press the “ID button”. When finished press the ID button again to deactivate the machine. Please be aware that Chambers will recover the photocopying costs based on the copies made under your PIN. Your photocopying charges for a particular month will be included on your normal monthly Tax Invoice.
The photocopying machines will also send facsimiles or scan documents. Instructions for sending facsimiles or scanning documents are located above the photocopiers.
Chambers has prepared policies which apply to members e.g. a room allocation policy, an e-mail & internet policy and a sexual harassment policy. Copies of Chambers’ policies are contained in the Welcome Package and are uploaded on the “Members Only” section of Chambers’ website. New members should familiarise themselves with the Chambers’ policies.
Reception is located on Level 19.
Members can choose to direct solicitors and clients attending for a conference to either Level 19 Reception or the Floor on which the member is located. If the attendees present at Level 19 Reception the receptionist will contact you and let you know. You may either request that the receptionist re-direct the attendees to your Floor or attend Level 19 yourself. When attendees come direct to your Floor there is an internal telephone which the attendees will themselves use to inform you that they have arrived.
Waiting space on the Floors is relatively sparse – even at Reception on Level 19. Accordingly, it is requested that members do not leave solicitors and clients unattended for any lengthy period of time.
Refitting a room
Allendale Square has strict rules as to the times at which any fit-out work may be conducted within the building. It is not possible for tradespeople to access the building outside those times. Further, Allendale Square requires prior notification of any such fit-out works. To avoid issues any potential office fit-out work should be discussed with the Executive Officer (Ext – 500) at an early stage, and certainly before a member contracts with a tradesperson to supply the office fit-out. For example, the Executive Officer will be able to assist members by directing them to tradespersons who have previously provided fit-outs within Chambers.
Please also be aware that it is a term of the licence agreement that works for members’ office re-fits not occur without prior approval of the Executive Officer.
A small shower is available for members on Level 12. Alternatively, shower facilities are available on the arcade level of Allendale Square. Contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449) to obtain keys through Allendale Square management.
Chambers holds a number of social functions throughout the year, some of which are purely social and others of which involve socialising with members of the judiciary or other members of the legal profession.
As to the latter, Chambers usually holds:
An annual drinks function with members of the Federal Court and the Supreme Court.
An annual drinks function with members of the District Court.
Annual cocktail functions with Perth based solicitors (in recent years separate functions have been held for solicitors practising in criminal law and solicitors practising in other areas.)
In some years there are also lunches with members of those Courts. Lunches are generally held to mark the appointment or retirement of members of the Court, particularly those who were former members of Chambers.
Within Chambers itself there are two annual functions to which spouses are invited: a cocktail function to mark the new legal year (held in February) and a dinner (held in July or August). All members of Chambers and spouses are encouraged to attend.
Chambers levies a charge on members attending these events. The charge is subsidised. A separate Tax Invoice is issued for these events. New members may wish to discuss the likely charge with the Executive Officer (Ext – 500) before committing to attend.
Each of the Floors hold their own particular social functions as they see fit, e.g. welcome or departure drinks, Melbourne Cup and Christmas lunch. Chambers staff also organise social functions for members’ support staff.
A4 photocopy paper is available to purchase in the utility room on each of the Floors. Please record all reams of paper taken on the sheets provided in the utility room. Charges for paper will be included on your normal monthly Tax Invoice.
Chambers no longer provides printed letterhead for members to purchase.
Swipe cards and security
New members are issued with a swipe card on arrival. Swipe cards are required to access each of Levels 12, 15, 16, 17, 19 & 23. Swipe cards are also needed to access Allendale Square out of normal office hours.
You should not provide your swipe card to any other person.
If your swipe card is lost or ceases to function you should contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449).
Occasionally members mis-place their swipe card or seek an additional swipe card (e.g. where a visiting counsel is sharing a room on a short-term basis.) If you seek an additional swipe card on a short-term basis you should contact the Administration Assistant (Ext – 449).
Security is an important issue within Chambers. All members of Chambers are entitled to expect privacy and maintenance of confidentiality. Issues have arisen in the past where a member has inadvertently permitted a solicitor or client to move unaccompanied within Chambers (either with or without a swipe card.) It is requested that solicitors and clients not be left unattended within Chambers. All the more so solicitors and clients should not be allowed to move around Chambers unaccompanied. It is also important that the third parties – including solicitors and clients – not be given a member’s swipe card (even on a temporary basis).
The telephone system is managed by the staff at Reception (Ext – 9).
Dial “0” for an outside line. For or an internal call simply dial the extension number.
All members have a direct line. Chambers strongly encourages members to use their direct line by providing it to solicitors and clients and publishing it on the Francis Burt Chambers website. It is, however, appreciated that some members’ practices mean that it would be inappropriate to provide direct line information to the public at large. Where a member chooses to routinely not provide a direct line, but has a personal assistant, it is requested that the member provide the direct line of his or her personal assistant. Where a member chooses to routinely not provide a direct line the member should inform Reception whether he or she has an expectation that calls put through to the member will be announced. The default position is that calls will not be announced. Where a member chooses to routinely not provide a direct line, but has a personal assistant, calls will be put through to the personal assistant unannounced.
Where a member (or his or her personal assistant) is unavailable Reception will take a message and e-mail that to the member. If a member wishes his or her messages to also be e-mailed to a personal assistant the member should inform Reception accordingly.
Reception will not transfer a call to the mobile number of a member.
If a member knows that he or she will be out of Chambers – particularly if he or she will be absent for a lengthy time – it is up to the member to inform Reception of the absence. This is best done by email (with such email copied to the Mailroom staff). The member should inform Reception what, if any, message should be provided in response to telephone calls. In particular the member should inform Reception whether the member is content for Reception to inform callers of the member’s mobile number. Reception can also be given at standing instruction as to whether or not callers are to be provided with the member’s mobile number when the member is not answering his or her direct line.
The telephones used by Chambers have a call-forwarding function. Accordingly, it is possible to arrange for automatic call-forwarding of all calls to your direct line to your mobile (please be aware that call charges will apply). In particular:
- To arrange automatic call forwarding:
Press “ * 1”
Dial the number required (generally your mobile number).
- To cancel automatic call forwarding:
Press “ # 1”
Members may also contact Reception (Ext – 9) and ask that automatic call forwarding be implemented.
The Welcome Package contains more detailed information as to the operation of the telephones used by Chambers.
Chambers maintains a Francis Burt Chambers website: www.francisburt.com.au.
Chambers will arrange for a photographer to attend so that an image of each new member is available on the website. New members should, however, consider what information they wish to include on their profile on the Francis Burt Chambers website. The material for the profile should be provided to the Executive Officer (Ext – 500; Level 12).
Changes to a member’s profile over time may be arranged with Karen Knox (Ext – 504; Level 16).
The Chambers’ website also contains a “Members Only” section. New members will be issued with a username and password to access the Members Only section. The Members Only section of the website contains important information such as:
- the Library intra-net Home Page;
- a Members & Staff directory;
White pages entry
Chambers has a general entry for the White Pages in the name of Francis Burt Chambers. Individual members may request a separate entry. As Chambers’ entry is renewed each year members are asked whether they wish the Company to arrange a separate White Pages entry for the member. If you chose to obtain a separate entry through Chambers the cost of doing so will be on charged to you and will be included on your monthly Tax Invoice.
WiFi is available:
- in the Level 12 conference room (password “FBCboardroom1”); and
- in the Library (password “FBClibrary 1”.
In addition, many members have personal WiFi within their rooms. The hardware required to set up personal WiFi is relatively inexpensive. If you wish to arrange personal WiFi it is best done with MetroWest IT when setting up your e-mail and internet access. Otherwise refer to the section on “IT support” above.