Barristers are specialist legal advisors and advocates. We are independent, objective and trained to advise clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. We have specialist knowledge and experience in and out of court, which can make a substantial difference to the outcome of a case.
Some senior barristers become Queen’s Counsel (also referred to as “silks” or “QCs”) as a mark of outstanding ability. QCs are normally instructed in the most serious or complex cases.
Historically, the legal profession was split into two parts. When you were involved in legal proceedings, you would go to a solicitor who would prepare all the papers in your case and they would then pass them onto a barrister to represent you in court. Under the direct access scheme members of the public can instruct a barrister directly for advice and representation. This may result in considerable cost saving for the individual, instead of paying for (two or more) lawyers, you are only paying for one. It also means that the expert barrister, who in the past only became involved at the end of the case (usually at the court hearing) is with you from the start, advising you on the law and strategy.
Instructing a barrister on a direct access basis does mean that you have to undertake some of the administration and paperwork that would normally have been done by a solicitor. This will, however, provide you with a substantial costs saving.
If your case is going to be particularly complicated (for example with large numbers of witnesses, or hundreds or thousands of pages of documentation) then it may not be suitable for direct access. If you do not feel confident in managing more of the preparation of a case for yourself, then it may be better for you to instruct a solicitor. We are more than happy to consider these matters with you, and if you are in any doubt, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with our clerking team for further advice and they will be delighted to assist you.