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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Monday 4 September 2017

Alone With A Barrister

For the paths to follow when seeking free legal help,  please see my post (and best of luck) http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2017/06/cant-afford-lawyer-what-to-do.html  I mentioned there the opportunity to bring in a barrister (or learned counsel as they may like to be called on a snobby day) to deal with the whole or just part of your court case and your ability to do that without the involvement of a solicitor. Well, the Bar Council (the barristers' trade union) has just claimed that there has been a surge of interest from businesses and individuals (who they call people) who are keen to bypass solicitors and instead directly access barristers, particularly in disputes involving properties and civil and employment law.

Is it a good idea to go straight to a barrister and cut out a solicitor? This is something I discuss in my book Breaking Law but here's a taster of my views. Generally, solicitors and others in the firm are better at preparatory work than barristers and are better placed to be available to you when you want them and to keep up the momentum of settlement negotiations with the opposition. However, if its the advocacy at court which could win or lose your case - and it often is - then you are more likely to find a first-class advocate who is going to demolish the other side among the ranks of barristers than the ranks of solicitors. And when the depths of your pockets are deep and your arms are short or you just cannot come up with fees for a barrister plus a solicitor then a barrister without a solicitor could be the solution for you. There's nothing to stop you from handling all of the case on our own except for the final hearing for which you can engage the barrister's services.