Direct Access Scheme
What is a barrister
Solicitors and barristers are both lawyers but the training is different.
Historically only barristers had the right to appear in the higher Courts. The barrister’s training was designed to ensure that they became quality advocates and advisors on the law. The training for a solicitor was more general.
The difference between barristers and solicitors can be likened to that of a GP and a specialist doctor. Normally a barrister only practices in one or two areas of law so they have very detailed knowledge of that area. Often in complex and serious cases a solicitor will go to a barrister for advice.
You can now instruct a barrister directly
In July 2004 the law changed to allow the public and Organisations to instruct a barrister directly using the Direct Access or Public Access Scheme.
Before this a person who wished to instruct a barrister would first need to employ a solicitor. Accessing a barrister directly is likely to be more cost effective because they do not have the expensive overheads of a solicitors firm.
What are the benefits
- A specialist advocate and advisor.
- A trained negotiator who will work fearlessly on your behalf.
- Cost efficiency.
- Greater control over your case.
What can a barrister do
- Give advice on the merits of making an application to the Court, or resisting an application; either in writing or in person in conference.
- Prepare offers to settle proceedings.
- Draft consent orders.
- Assistance to draft the relevant documents that you are required to prepare and respond to; at each stage of legal proceedings.
- Appearing in court, examining witnesses on your behalf and making submissions to the Court.
- Submitting written (skeleton) arguments and legal authorities to the Court.
- Advising on evidence and the instruction of expert witnesses.
- There are limits as to what work a barrister can do and in some instances a solicitor may also need to be instructed.
What can I do
- I am an experienced Family and Criminal Law Barrister. I can represent you directly in all areas of Family and Criminal Law.
- I will approach your case sympathetically.
- I will work tirelessly on your behalf.
- I will fearlessly advocate your case.