russell-burtomn-WEB-IMAGE-without-sigMerry Christmas and Happy New Year! There has been some fantastic entertainment in Edenbridge over the last couple of months with Bonfire Night being one, but what a shame about the rain. Still, great to see so many people out supporting the event and like many of you, I got absolutely drenched! Also, all those Doctor Who’s in town for the Christmas event was a great spectacle and the Tardis behind the Eden Valley Museum was most impressive.

We now live in a digital age with the internet an invaluable information resource tool as expertise and knowledge is widely shared and easily accessible across the web. Whatever subject takes your interest there is a mass of free information available online. Take legal issues as an example. We can now learn from the numerous legal “DIY” websites that are only a few clicks away, enabling us to become empowered to deal with legal issues ourselves rather than engage legal representation. This might explain the increase the courts are seeing in the “litigant in person” – the term used by the courts to describe someone who does not have a solicitor acting for them.

Whilst money can be saved by not using a lawyer, I recently read that senior judges have expressed concern that litigants in person are losing winnable cases because they do not have legal representation. The message here is that should DIY go wrong it can put you in a worse position than which you started, especially if you get hit with the other side’s costs!

The solution is to find the middle ground – a compromise that gives the empowered litigant in person the opportunity to stay in control of their case, reduce their legal spend, yet still have access to legal expertise when needed, which could prove crucial to the outcome of the case.

This is where I help.

For the benefit of new readers, I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice. I am a freelance Barristers’ Clerk passionately helping individuals and businesses take control of their legal issues by arranging experienced Barristers to provide expert legal advice and representation in court. My direct route to Barristers removes any need for a solicitor resulting in huge savings for the client. This is the middle ground.

My clients are litigants in person but don’t represent themselves – instead they use a Barrister to help them with their legal issue, whether that is advising on the law, determining strategy, drafting legal documents, writing letters or representing them in court.

I have had many clients over the past 18 months who, in my view, represent the new breed of litigant in person – empowered; self-directed; efficient; keen to do as much as they can; cost conscious but realistic enough to recognise the benefits of investing in a legal expert’s help; determined not to use solicitors.

People want to avoid overspending on legal matters. Legal costs are an overhead to be monitored, managed and trimmed. In my world, clients use the direct services of Barristers to help them resolve their legal issues as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Divorce/financial settlements; contact and residence of children; business disputes – If you are acting for yourself but could do with some expert help, or maybe you already have a solicitor but would like to know if I can save you money, give me a ring on 01732 866 562.

Remember, speaking to me costs nothing but I could end up saving you thousands!

by: Russell Burton-Lawrence, The Barrister Broker

Featured in: Issue 74 – January/February 2015