Our members at Mercantile Barristers are Public Access Trained and are happy to be consulted by and accept instructions directly from professionals and discerning private clients at any time (for direct access barristers). To book a consultation with one of our Direct Access Barristers in London please call us and speak to our clerks who will find the best-placed barrister for you.
WORKING WITH BARRISTERS BEFORE 2004
Historically, barristers in England & Wales could only accept instructions from solicitors and could not be consulted directly by members of the public. Barristers were considered to be too expert and too specialist to deal directly with lay clients.
It was left to a solicitor to first determine whether the legal problem that has arisen required the involvement of the expert barrister. If so, it was only the solicitor that could instruct the expert barrister on behalf of the lay client. Using a medical analogy, it is akin to having to see your GP before being referred to the Specialist Consultant.
NO ISSUES WITH DIRECT ACCESS BARRISTERS METHOD
In this traditional mode of operation the lay client continues to pay for his solicitor while also paying for his expert barrister. While this has always been the case, it is unnecessary in certain modern circumstances and inevitably commercial pressures and modernity has brought a change. Professionals such as company directors, agents, architects, surveyors, construction engineers and other specialist consultants may not require hand-holding by a solicitor in order to consult the expert barrister about their case.
ADVANTAGES OF INSTRUCTING DIRECT ACCESS BARRISTERS
A change in the law in 2004 allowed barristers, who have undertaken additional training, to advise clients without the need for a solicitor and listed below are some of the reasons why it is advantageous to instruct a direct access barrister.
Your solicitor and your barrister are combined so you don’t have to go from one solicitor’s office on the High Street to barristers’ chambers at the Inns of Court.
You only pay one legal advisor rather than two. The barrister usually has lower overheads, so this will usually be more economical than retaining the solicitor alone and will cost less than instructing both.
You get the earliest possible direct access to the specialist – not just when a problem gets to Court. This could save you the headache, heartache and expense of avoidable litigation.
You will normally know in advance the basis upon which the work will be charged, as well as your advisors view on likely prospects of success.
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