Meeting Barrister(8 Posts)
DId you met your barrister before the actual (FDR) court date?
(I'm going through Solicitor with their recommended barrister - solicitor is insisting on having a meeting with barrister beforehand). It's racking costs ups
IMO always a good idea prior to an FDR as they can help you formulate an offer and talk about what is likely to happen - remember that you are likely to be there all day as the "listing time" is not really a time as judges just bring people in and out from 10-4.30 to see if they can settle .....!
My solicitor represented me at FDA and FDR... still no agreement made (due to v stubborn ex-h) and it went to Final Hearing for which my solicitor suggested a barrister. I wanted to meet the barrister first but she suggested it wasn't necessary - the barrister received my paperwork 2d before the Final Hearing and clearly understood everything by the time I met him on the morning of the Final Hearing.... so in my opinion it is unnecessary if you have a good solicitor.
I'm meeting with mine in a few weeks time, ahead of my second hearing.
My financial case is complicated as exH has lied and dissipated assets, so my (very good solicitor) has strongly suggested we have a meeting with sol and barrister to figure out our schedule of deficiencies, and also our plan for the hearing.
It does cost a fortune, but if you have a lot to fight for financially I think it's worth it.
It's not usual no, unless you specifically request a consultation. You will be charged for the barrister per hour plus costs for the solicitor if they are there as well.
The solicitor preps the barrister on your behalf, under your costs breakdown you should see "brief preparation" etc.. So unless you have an asset pool above £500,000 or have a very complicated case (you want more than 50%, partner been on the razz with £20k or is wallpapering the spare bedroom with £50 notes) I would certainly refuse to meet with the barrister UNLESS it's part of a fixed fee package or the costs are reasonable enough for you to pay. (I would say total cost of £400 for both of them for an hour is reasonable if necessary).
The solicitor cannot insist. They take instruction from you.
A barrister who has met you before a hearing will have more emotionally invested in your case, know you better and understand the outcome you seek more thoroughly, have had the chance to formulate an approach with the solicitor in advance and potentially put that approach into action in advance of the hearing and ask you questions so that the note in advance of the hearing is properly prepared. In addition the solicitor might want you to meet the barrister in advance to make sure you feel comfortable with them and wish to instruct them. Finally, the solicitor might want you to sit down and listen to what the barrister has to say because you're not listening to the solicitor and need a bash around the head or you're a pain in the arse client for a multitude of other reasons.
If your solicitor us good they will have a decent relationship with the clerks and/or barrister you are seeing and negotiate a slightly enhanced fixed fee to accomodate the hearing as well as the conference with counsel, possibly an extra £300-500 + VAT on top of barrister fees if 2k plus.
Making the judgement (and negotiating the fees) is what you pay the solicitor to do, not their own advocacy. You have to pay for the preparation of the brief/instructions prior to the hearing whenever you decide to meet counsel.
Queue the barrister paying for a conference prior to FDR for 'proper preparation' and alleged emotional attachment is precisely why these are wasted costs in non-complex cases, if you don't get a proper brief prepared then your solicitor needs a swift boot. Good point about pain in the arse though, are you being a pain in the arse and asking for something unreasonable? If your sol tells you you're being a dick, counsel will say exactly the same.
I'm a solicitor. I spose I don't have much experience of non complex cases tho so you might be right in the context of those.
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