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Instructing a Barrister on a Budget: How to Make it Work

Monday, January 16, 2023

If you're thinking of instructing a specialist barrister to represent you in an employment tribunal, but are worried about the process of instructing a barrister under the public access scheme, this blog post is for you. I will explain how to gain direct access to barristers, how the process works and give some tips on how to keep costs down and speed up. With little planning, it is possible to use a barrister's expertise without breaking the bank and without the need for solicitors. in another post I have set out the advantages of the Direct Access Scheme, that post is here.

1. Finding the right barrister is key to success

This image shows an incomplete jigsaw puzzle, with one crucial piece missing. The empty space is a representation of the complexities and uncertainties that can arise during legal proceedings - and how using a Direct Access Barrister can provide you with the specialist legal knowledge needed to fill in the gaps. A Direct Access Barrister offers you unique access to experienced barristers without needing to go through a solicitor; their expertise allows them to provide tailored advice on your case, helping you make sense of complex legal processes and navigate any tricky issues that come up along the way. In other words, when it comes to finding solutions for your legal problems, they could be just the piece of the puzzle you need.

Having the right specialist barrister at your side can be a great asset during this process. It is important to take time to find an experienced direct access barrister who understands the particulars of your case and has the skillset needed. There are various ways of researching the eligibility of barristers and to ensure they are qualified: look on their chambers website, for instance here; look on the Bar Council's website or the Bar Standards Board's website and look at the various legal directories that rank the leading barristers in the field. 

Once you have identified a barrister or a few barristers you may wish to instruct, contact them. It may be that there is more information they require. In order to assist you and the barrister I have produced a short guide that contains a model email you may wish to send to the barrister at the outset which sets out the information they are likely to require from you and the potential outcomes you seek. This means you are able to give the barrister what they need early on in the process, cutting don the chances of the barrister requiring more information from you later on and delaying your matter moving forward. The guide is free and can be obtained here.

I understand that choosing the right barrister to handle your legal matter can be a difficult decision. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Please click the "Contact Me" button below to get in touch with me. I will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

2. The Client Care Letter

When you have a barrister who is able to undertake your work through the public access scheme they should provide you with a Client Care Letter and terms of business. The Client Care Letter is an incredibly important document that serves to outline the services you will receive, expected timelines for the for barrister completing the work and other necessary information for the next steps in your case. 

A person signing a legal document, showing the importance of Client Care Letters as an essential part of instructing a barrister under the Direct Access Scheme. By signing this document, both parties are agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined in the Client Care Letter, ensuring that their rights and obligations are documented and protected

The Client Care Letter outlines the terms and conditions of the barrister's work including their fees. it is important to read and understand the client care letter as it forms the basis of your instructions to the barrister, only once this document is signed and returned is the barrister formally instructed by you. The Client Care Letter ensures both parties have clearly and understandingly agreed on the responsibilities of each and sets boundaries, protecting both the client and business from potential confusion or later problems.

3. Providing the barrister with all the necessary material

When you return the signed Client Care Letter and pay the barrister's fee, it will be necessary to provide all the material to your barrister you wish them to work with. Documents such as court orders, witness statements, and other relevant evidence should be organised and provided to the barrister in a timely manner. Having all these documents together will assist the barrister's management of your claim and enhance their ability to act in your best interests. It is important to remember that providing your barrister with full access to materials ensures that they can provide you with the best service. Make sure that you do not forget or leave anything out when preparing material - if you're unsure about something, consult your barrister first so that every piece of information is accurately presented when it matters most. You can communicate privately with your barrister as what you say to them is covered by legal privilege. My short guide contains a precedent index you can use to arrange the papers in a way that will assist the barrister prepare to undertake work.

4. Working effectively with your barrister

Developing an effective working relationship with your barrister is essential to the success of your case. Barristers rely on close cooperation from their clients and by developing open communication, you can ensure that the barrister has all the information they need to work effectively and efficiently. It is helpful for you to provide any documents related to your case in an organised way prior to court proceedings and keep them informed about any changes in your circumstances that may affect the next steps in the case. Furthermore, setting a timeline for yourself and adhering to it helps keep matters on track as well as allowing enough time for the barrister’s other commitments..

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I understand that choosing the right barrister to handle your legal matter can be a difficult decision. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. 
Please click the "email me" button below to get in touch with me. I will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

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