The system is designed so that you (the Public) can obtain legal advice directly from a Barrister without ever needing the services of a Solicitor. In short, this means that you only have to pay for one legal advisor rather than two, potentially producing significant costs savings.
Under the current rules, I am not permitted to undertake any work directly for you if a Legal Aid order is already in place. BUT, I can act in the following circumstances:-
1. If you choose not to have the benefit of Legal Aid and discharge the order. You may do this for a number of reasons. It is your right, if you choose to do so, to pay privately for your defence and as such it may be more cost effective to directly instruct a Barrister. On the other hand, you may be obliged to pay a significant sum towards your defence under a contribution to Legal Aid scheme. Again, it may be a more cost effective method for you to seek to instruct a Barrister directly. THIS IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW SO PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU FEEL YOU FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY
2. If the offence for which you are charged/summonsed is not one which is covered by Legal Aid such as most motoring offences and very minor criminal offences including public order offences. The usual practice would be to seek representation from a firm of Solicitors and of course this is still an option open to you but dealing with a Barrister directly can save you time and money.
3. You are not eligible for Legal Aid due to your financial situation Again, the usual practice would be to seek representation from a firm of Solicitors and of course this is still an option open to you but dealing with a Barrister directly can save you time and money.
Why is it that coming to us directly would be more cost-effective?
Well, it is almost a case of cutting out the middle man. Instead of paying a Solicitor to do some of the administrative work, you would be required to undertake this yourself. You needn’t worry about the more complicated legal administration or of course the running of the case as I would deal with that exclusively but simple tasks are completed by yourself without incurring any costs. You also protect yourself from what might be seen as double-accounting with Solicitors reading papers and charging for it and then a Barrister completing an almost identical exercise at a later stage.