Until recently members of the public have not been allowed to go directly to a barrister for legal advice. In the past if you needed the expert opinion of a barrister or a barrister to represent you in court you had to first engage the services of a solicitor who would then instruct the barrister on your behalf.
Recent changes mean that members of the public can now go directly to a barrister without having to also involve a solicitor. These changes are referred to in the Bar Standards Board's Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients which explains how the Public Access scheme works. As a result we have established a new service simply called Barristers Direct.
Barristers Direct can provide you with the following services:
- Practical guidance on procedural and other steps to be taken prior to any court hearing
- Effective legal advice and assistance on all matters of law, practice and evidence
- Drafting of formal and legal documents required for court hearings
- Appearing on your behalf to present your case at court
- Expert opinion on the merits of any appeal against sentence or conviction
How to instruct a barrister
1. Contact Barristers Direct
You will need to provide your contact details including an e-mail address and let them know the nature of the work with which you need our assistance and any deadlines that need to be met.
Our clerks will then determine the appropriate area of practice and arrange an initial meeting between you and your barrister at our chambers at Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6DR, and advise you of the fee for that first meeting.
2 Initial Meeting
At the first meeting you will need to provide your barrister with all the relevant documents relating to your case. Where there is a substantial amount of papers you should ensure copies are made available for your barrister at least three days before the meeting to allow your barrister time to consider your case. Your barrister will review the papers and make an assessment of the work required. He/she will determine whether the case is suitable for direct access and advise you on the next steps.
3 Agreement to Proceed
If your case is suitable for direct access, Barristers Direct will indicate the fee for each piece of work, or where appropriate the case overall. A client care letter will be provided to you setting out the terms and conditions including the services to be provided by Barristers Direct. You will be asked to sign the client care letter which forms the agreement between you and Barristers Direct.
If you have any queries at any stage you can contact our clerks who will be happy to help or via email to your instructed barrister.