In my role as The Barrister Broker I get asked many different questions so I thought it would be useful to include the most frequently asked questions that I have had over the last 12 months. If you have a question not covered here, please feel free to give me a call and ask!
What makes using a barrister through you different to finding my own one on the internet?
Just as with any profession some people are more effective than others and unfortunately by the time you find out how poor or incompetent someone is it’s usually too late! Therefore choosing the ‘right’ lawyer for your needs is a really big deal. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because someone is a qualified lawyer (solicitor or barrister) that they are going to be right for you.
I remove the ‘guesswork’ to choosing the right lawyer. I will provide you with a highly experienced Barrister from my panel; someone who I have worked with before (sometimes for many years) who has a proven track record and who I know has the necessary skills and experience that you will benefit from.
Although you’re known as The Barrister Broker, are you a barrister?
No, I am not legally qualified and therefore cannot give legal advice. My background was working as a Barristers’ Clerk in London for over 20 years (ever seen the TV series Silk?) so I have extensive experience working with barristers and facilitating their services to clients.
I thought barristers could only work with solicitors, is this not the case?
No, not any more. The rules changed several years ago to allow a client to be able to go direct to a barrister without the need to go to a solicitor first.
What is the difference between barristers and solicitors?
It’s essentially training and skill sets. Solicitors are licensed litigators and conduct the process of litigation, i.e. project-managing a client’s case, completing court forms, issuing court applications, lodging documents with the court, corresponding with the other side and the court, giving legal advice, etc.
Barristers are specially trained legal advisers and court room advocates. They are self-employed, independent and objective lawyers, trained to advise clients’ on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. They have specialist knowledge and experience in and out of court, which can make a substantial difference to the outcome of a case.
Solicitors and Barristers are both Lawyers, which is simply a generic term used to describe anyone who is a Licensed Legal Practitioner.
How will using a barrister help me reduce my legal costs?
There are a number of reasons that make barristers a much more cost-effective legal solution compared to solicitors. For example:
• When you pay a Barrister you are paying for their time and expertise, not the cost of running a solicitor’s office;
• Barristers have special legal knowledge which means they generally deal with the issues more quickly;
• ‘Fixed Fees’ enable clients to know the cost in advance of agreeing to have any work done – completely transparent with no nasty surprise bills later on!
The idea of taking ownership of my own case sounds rather daunting can I get assistance from you if I need it?
Yes I can provide support in a number of different ways. For many of my clients emotional support is crucial – always having someone available at the end of a phone to talk to when something arises or things are getting tough can be very reassuring – often in divorce and separation and child custody matters. I can help you keep organised such as complying with any deadlines, printing documents and generally helping you to keep your paperwork in order.
I’m half way through a legal issue – can I contact you to see if I may be better off finishing the process with one of your barristers?
Yes you can and frankly I would urge you to give me a call to talk your matter through.
I have had a number of situations where people have already spent considerable sums of money on their legal matter but don’t feel they are getting value for money for whatever reason so they stop using the solicitor and come to me. I arranged for a barrister to advise and represent them and despite the client having changed legal representation, I still saved them money on what they would have spent had they remained with the solicitor, and in some of my cases this has run into thousands of pounds saved!
I have a court hearing coming up, will I be able to use one of your barristers to represent me?
If I can help you I will. You need to give me a call to tell me about your case, when and where the hearing is and we can take it from there.
For the most cost-effective and expert legal advice and representation available, call me on 01732 866 562. I will be able to save you money.
by: Russell Burton-Lawrence, The Barrister Broker
Featured in: Issue 80 – January/February 2016