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Choosing a barrister - they're all so young!

(23 Posts)
thepennyshop Thu 10-Aug-17 09:12:23

My solicitor has recommended I need a barrister when I go to court. He's sent me a list of options and I was horrified to see that the oldest is my age, 35, the others are in their 20s.
I'm a lecturer at uni, and these barristers are not much older than my students.
For the amount I'll need to be paying them, I'm completely not reassured.

I don't want some young 20something patronising me and I know my ex will just think I'm ridiculous.

I'm just posting for advice really- are there any good ways to choose a barrister? I looked them up online which is where I saw their ages and pictures.

The cheapest is the youngest, and it is more than double the price for the oldest (my age). I would naturally prefer the most expensive in the hope he was the best. But I don't know if it's worth paying the extra £3000 for that.
Likewise I'm tempted to pay the extra money to avoid the humiliation of turning up at court with a young boy trying to advise me and negotiate with my ex.

I definitely need a barrister for various reasons- I'm just trying to decide which one to go for.

Any thoughts and advice gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Rinkydinkypink Thu 10-Aug-17 09:18:39

Barristers are few and far between. It's not an easy profession and although they may be young they are some of the best legal minds around.

My advice is pick the one you have a connection with and who is likeable. Give them a ring and see how you get on. You need someone whose had experience in your area of law. Has a good track record for winning a case and who is professional, forms an excellent argument and who is confident enough to challenge strong forceful characters.

OwlBeBack Thu 10-Aug-17 09:21:03

Well, the barrister that represented my ex in court was in her early twenties and did a bloody good job of ripping me to shreds. My barrister was equally as young and ferocious (I'm nearly 50).

It wasn't a divorce case, it was child access but both were excellent at doing what they do imho.

I went with the barristers office (chambers??) with the best reputation in my local area on the recommendation of my solicitor and also double checked online myself.

MrsBertBibby Thu 10-Aug-17 09:23:02

What is the nature of your hearing?

Familylawsolicitor Thu 10-Aug-17 09:25:46

I'm frequently really impressed by young barristers at court. Mid 30s-40s will be very expensive number of years call. Many of them are QCs or judges by that age. Or have given it up.
There are barristers out there who have gone to the bar after a first career who are older.
If you PM me the list I can tell you if once instructed any

babybarrister Thu 10-Aug-17 09:25:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thepennyshop Thu 10-Aug-17 09:26:24

Thanks for your quick replies, that is quite reassuring.

Do you think it is ok to phone them up cold for a chat before I have decided to go with them? I suppose it would be a bit like an interview, but I'm worried that they would be too busy and might be irritated by it.

OP’s posts: |
KatyBerry Thu 10-Aug-17 09:26:36

"Give them a ring and see how you get on"??! I guess you've never had a solicitor engage a barrister for you before... listen to your solicitor 's recommendations and go on recent track record for similar cases which their clerk will supply your solicitor with. And budget, of course. No point choosing experience if you can't afford it, particularly if this is even remotely likely to be an ongoing relationship rather than a single appearance

Inneedofadvice27 Thu 10-Aug-17 09:29:02

Hi, I made the mistake once of employing the oldest and most expensive thinking I would give myself the best chance. However it was awful....she just wasn't engaged at all. I would end up surprised if she remembered my name when I saw her. In the end she ended up employing a junior....I dealt with him a fair bit. What a breath of fresh air. More than capable, hungry for the work and super cheap at around a third of her price. Couldn't have been more engaged. Knew my case like the back of his hand.

KatyBerry Thu 10-Aug-17 09:29:26

(X posted - no you can't just call in for a chat and technically speaking you aren't hiring them, your solicitor is. Since you already have a solicitor and your case involves children you aren't suitable for public access)

SarahJonesS Thu 10-Aug-17 09:32:01

You do realise that say, a 50 year old barrister, could have qualified at 48 and not be as experienced as a 26 year old? Do you mind a 50 year old patronising you or are they unable to do so at their age? 🤔

Ask your solicitor who they recommend. There will be someone they prefer. Look at their profile on the chambers websites and see what they specialise in.

thepennyshop Thu 10-Aug-17 09:33:35

Thanks for offers of me sending a PM. I just need to figure out how to do it - but will send one shortly.

Ahh katy I thought I'd feel strange phoning them up. Thanks for the suggestion of how to go about it.

OP’s posts: |
thepennyshop Thu 10-Aug-17 09:38:50

Ah well my solicitor preferred the oldest and most experienced, and put the youngest and cheapest at the bottom of his list.

That's a good point about the young one being hungrier for the work though. One more expensive one has done a lot of international and famous cases, and may find my case too boring to care much about.

Ah well when I'm going by their ages I'm also going by the year they were called to the bar.

Well no i wouldn't like a 50year old to patronise me either- I guess I'm just used to that happening!

But I do feel a bit better about using a younger one now thank you

OP’s posts: |
MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 10-Aug-17 09:42:29

Ah, nice to see a bit of ageism the other way on MN for a change hmmgrin

KatyBerry talks sense. The focus should be on ability and track record first, then budget. The age, sex, race and any other protected characteristic really shouldn't come into it.

KatyBerry Thu 10-Aug-17 10:08:34

weak joke about lack of existence of any barristers possessing protected characteristics goes here

Familylawsolicitor Thu 10-Aug-17 10:10:26

Age really does frequently go hand in hand with experience though in a career such as a barrister although some are called to the bar later in life. The thing is to look at how many years they have been "called" to the bar and this may well correlate with experience.

sixinthebedandthelittleonesaid Thu 10-Aug-17 10:10:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eurochick Thu 10-Aug-17 10:40:10

Your solicitor's recommendation means more than age. They will know who will do the best job in your type of case.

I was in the Court of Appeal on something recently. The youngest advocate outperformed the big name older QC by a long way (even if her hands did shake throughout!). We need to instruct a barrister for something else soon - she is on the shortlist, he isn't.

babybarrister Thu 10-Aug-17 14:50:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rizlett Thu 10-Aug-17 14:57:20

Mine was recommended by my solicitor and was pretty rubbish during my divorce financial hearing with my irrational and abusive exh. [who failed to turn up] His barrister however was shit hot.

Even when the Judge specifically asked us twice if we wanted costs - he said no and because they'd warned me beforehand that we might come out with nothing [do they always 'prepare' you like that?] I wasn't on the ball enough to say yes we do want costs. Thanks Judge.

Racmactac Thu 10-Aug-17 14:57:28

Whereabouts are you? If Birmingham chambers I'm happy to give my opinion

Syc4moreTrees Thu 10-Aug-17 14:58:59

I work as a criminal law barrister, I am very early 30's but that's the equivalent of around 10 years court experience. You cut your teeth young in this profession, so don't worry so much about age. If your case has any particular nuances ask your solicitor to recommend someone who is good in that area. If your solicitor is any way busy in this area they will know who you want.

sonyaya Thu 10-Aug-17 15:03:50

I can tell you in my chambers there are some brilliant young barristers and some mediocre older barristers. Happy to offer a third opinion on a list if you want to send.

Also depending on the complexity and value of your case, it might not be cost effective to go for the more expensive barrister.

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