In the past, to use a barrister you had to go through a solicitor or another intermediary.
Rules have now changed so that you can instruct a barrister directly. This is called "direct access" or "public access".
One of the main advantages of instructing a barrister directly is avoiding additional fees charged by a solicitor or other intermediary. You are "cutting out the middle man."
When you instruct me as a barrister, like myself, directly the services I can provide include:
- Giving you advice on your legal status or rights,
- Drafting and sending documents for you,
- Representing you in court, tribunals or mediations.
I can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings where appropriate.
There are some cases and situations where it will be better for you to instruct a solicitor.
You cannot instruct a barrister directly on a legal aid (public funding) basis. If you wish to be represented on legal aid (which unfortunately is available far less often than in the past) you will have to go to a solicitor. I will likely be able to recommend a suitable solicitor and if it appropriate they may then bring me in to help your case. Lists of solicitors who do legal aid work will be available from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
For all direct access work I charge fixed fees (not hourly rates) quoted in advance so you know exactly what you will have to pay for the services I am providing.
If you have a legal problem and would like to discuss whether I can assist you without going through a solicitor please do not hesitate to contact me.