Public access barrister

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A guide to instructing a public access barrister. …

A guide to instructing a public access barrister.

Elizabeth Nicholls

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  • 1. A guide to instructing a public access barrister Elizabeth Nicholls
  • 2. • In brief terms, it enables members of thepublic to go direct to a barrister withoutinvolving an intermediary such as a solicitor.• The main advantage is that it saves theclient money• It is available in most kinds of cases, exceptfor those funded out of legal aid
  • 3. • Appear in court on your behalf• Offer legal advice• Draft documents for you• Advise on proceedings and draft documentsaccordingly• Prepare a witness statement for you• Assist in the choice of an expert witness
  • 4. • Issue proceedings on your behalf, this is theclient’s responsibility but the barrister canassist• Instruct an expert witness directly• Handle a client’s money
  • 5. • A short discussion with a barrister willreveal whether the case is suitable for publicaccess. Most barristers will ask you to sendthem a note explaining the circumstancesand perhaps discuss this over the phone.• In general this first conversation is offeredfree of charge, but do check.
  • 6. •Find a suitable barrier, the Bar Councilmaintains a list•
  • 7. • Contact the barrister’s chambers• Initial informal assessment via phone/email• You will need proof of identity at the firstmeeting• Go with all relevant documentation• Agree terms in principle• The barrister will send you a client careletter explaining these terms
  • 8. • Factors affecting cost:-Seniority of the barrister-Complexity of the case- Length of time required- Amount of supporting documentation• Few barristers offer conditional feearrangements (no win, no fee)• Ask for records of work undertaken
  • 9. For a more detailed exploration of instructing apublic access barrister: 832 5701