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Public can use barristers directly without solicitors in all cases now

(52 Posts)
babybarrister Sat 18-Dec-10 17:46:44

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sarah293 Sat 18-Dec-10 17:48:28

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ilovemydogandMrObama Sat 18-Dec-10 17:51:04

Oh good. Will you now specialize in allergies? Is there 'allergy litigation?' smile

Lulumaam Sat 18-Dec-10 17:51:30

i notice an ad in the local paper for a barrister you can contact directly

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sat 18-Dec-10 17:53:36

Only in England

babybarrister Sat 18-Dec-10 17:55:33

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sarah293 Sat 18-Dec-10 17:57:48

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smallwhitecat Sat 18-Dec-10 17:58:54

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babybarrister Sun 19-Dec-10 09:13:28

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Toughasoldboots Sun 19-Dec-10 09:32:25

I went straight to a barrister over 18 months ago- I didn't realise that there was a law preventing it.
They were happy to work directly with me although I did 'let her go' when she got a big part of the law wrong ( I had done my own basic research first) and I am now wondering if she should have been employed through a solicitor.

hildathebuilder Sun 19-Dec-10 09:40:51

as a solicitor most of the barristers I deal with like having a split profession. and clients referred to via someobe like me
... And I do tell clients to go straight to the bar, because
1. I won't have to pay the barrister when the client doesn't pay me (meaning I los money becuase I acted for them in the first place)
2. I don't have to keep listening to the nutty client who I know can't afford me (but won't accept it)
3. When I know the client will lose and they don't listen I won't have to listen to the client
4. I won't have to deal with the client when they do lose, and say why didn't you tell me...

I could go on. The point being most clients are fine, most of the time they listen, most of the time they pay. But clients are just like every other section of the population there are some odd folk out there.

but if I needed representation in a court, for a hearing I understood, I would always use a junior barrister as they are cheaper than I am. And often better for that type of work.

So if you need legal advise ask around, work out what you want and how to pay for it, but always look at different options. Solicitos, barristers, insurance companies, trade unions, cab .. there are lots of ways to do things now

ThwopGoesTheMooncup Sun 19-Dec-10 09:45:28

It really depends on the area of law I think. You won't get barristers going to the police station in the middle of the night. In crime I have noticed more and more advocacy being done by solicitors because of funding. Life is hard for the junior bar at the moment.

Toughasoldboots Sun 19-Dec-10 09:53:37

Mine was employment law- so there is no reason why a barrister can't be approached directly? I did most of the work myself but just wanted some specialist advice.

ElsieMc Sun 19-Dec-10 13:04:50

Thanks for this Babybarrister. I don't know what area of the country you are in, but would you be prepared to recommend an excellent family law barrister in the NW who would treat me with a bit of respect?

Georgimama Sun 19-Dec-10 13:15:43

Is a barrister going to fill in your Form E for you though? It's fine if all you need is advocacy, but otherwise I think it would be hard to cut out a solicitor completely.

STIDW Sun 19-Dec-10 13:37:28

My understanding is in England & Wales that traditionally solicitors litigated and barristers advocated . Solicitors were generally involved in preparatory work and advice, such as drafting and reviewing legal documents, dealing with and receiving instructions from the client, preparing evidence, and managing the day-to-day matter including applying to court and signing documents on behalf of a client. Some experienced solicitors are also good at advocacy.

Barristers are the experts when it comes to the law and speaking on clients' behalves in court. They have rights of audience with the higher courts. Originally the rules prevented a barrister from conducting litigation and there was no direct public access to a barrister meaning that clients were required to go through a solicitor to engage a barrister.

A few years ago the rules were changed allowing the public direct access to barristers. Family law was an exception and it was only possible for the public to directly approach a barrister in limited circumstances. Recently the rules have relaxed further so the public now have direct access to family barristers and barristers may conduct ligation.

Scotland is different. Here we have advocates and stables instead of barristers and chambers. Advocates can now accept instructions directly from an individual or organisation in four main categories - legal professionals, other professionals, public authorities and a "wide range of other individuals and bodies" such as a person on the Financial Services Authority Register or a trade union.

babybarrister Sun 19-Dec-10 18:34:39

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WestVirginia Sun 19-Dec-10 18:59:17

Advertising is not allowed on this forum

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 19-Dec-10 19:10:37

It's more of a public service broadcast. Don't think anyone would get far calling directory enquiries for a 'babybarrister...'

Resolution Sun 19-Dec-10 19:13:20

STIDW is spot on. Barristers are good to go to if you just want someone to advocate for you at hearings.

However the nature of their job is that they are in court all day, and are unable to run a caseload like a solicitor can. They can draft documents and give advice, but alot of my clients like the fact that I'm always available at the end of a telephone, and I generate around 20-30 outgoing letters a day to run my caseload. I couldn't do that if I had to attend court all day.

Good for the client to have more choice. As Hildathebuilder points out, previously I'd have the occasional client who wanted only representation at hearings and I'd have to assume personal responsibility for the barrister's fees and make sure the client's cheque didn't bounce. Far better that the barrister can deal with this direct.

Many family barristers are nervous about the impact of the proposed legal aid savage cuts reforms. We all are. Natural really that they'll be looking at taking clients on direct.

Resolution Sun 19-Dec-10 19:16:11

West V - unless there is a barrister that actually is called 'babybarrister' I'm not sure babybarrister is advertising. Or are members of a profession not permitted to contribute to a thread upon which they are eminently qualified to speak?

cat64 Sun 19-Dec-10 19:49:29

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cat64 Sun 19-Dec-10 19:50:07

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babybarrister Sun 19-Dec-10 21:23:25

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cat64 Sun 19-Dec-10 23:51:02

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