Direct Access, also known as Public Access, now gives you the ability to directly instruct a barrister to advise you and represent you in Court. Previously it was necessary to first instruct a solicitor, who would then instruct a barrister for you.
The main advantage of directly instructing a barrister is that you will receive expert advice as to the likely outcome of your case, for considerably lower legal costs. Considerable financial savings can be achieved by only instructing one legal advisor, as you are only committing to one set of legal fees rather than two. Additionally, there is far greater clarity of costs when instructing a barrister directly. As fees are agreed in advance, there are no hidden costs. I offer a fixed fee service. This means you will know in advance exactly how much you are paying and what that price covers, whether it is for a particular piece of advice or for the entire case.
Barristers are specialists in their particular area of law. Through Direct Access you can speak to an expert in the exact field you need advice in, without having to first go through an intermediary. An obvious advantage of this is the speed in which the case can progress.
Many cases are suitable for Direct Access, however some may not be. Some of the types of cases that are especially suited to direct instructions are those in which you wish to negotiate with the other side, or have already come to an agreement but wish to formalise it. Directly instructing a barrister can also be particularly suitable in cases where there are few issues of fact to be debated, cases where you wish to avoid litigation altogether and cases in which mediation could provide a solution.
Direct Access barristers can offer specialist legal advice, give second opinions when solicitors have already been instructed, and represent clients in court. Directly accessed barristers can also draft correspondence, legal documents and statements, and assist with the drafting of correspondence.
Although directly instructed barristers are authorised to deal with a large part of the work involved in a case, some aspects must be fulfilled by you, the client. These include basic administration, sending of correspondence, and filing documents at court. Being involved in these basic processes of your case can provide you with a much better understanding of its progression, and a far greater control over the outcomes.
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