Traditionally barristers would have to be instructed by a solicitor before conducting cases. Now barristers with 3 or more years post qualification experience can be instructed directly by members of the public under the direct access provisions.
There are some restrictions on the type of case where this can happen. In more complex cases solicitors are needed to help with the preparation of the case: examples might include when expert evidence needs to be obtained or witnesses traced. This is a professional decision for the barrister to be decided on its own facts. Many if not most cases in the Magistrates’ Courts are suitable to be dealt with by a barrister directly.
As well as the restriction on the type of case suitable for direct access, clients may wish to consider applying for legal aid. This is something clients will need to decide for themselves – more information about legal aid eligibility can be found here (as well as information about recovery of costs in the event of successfully defending an allegation or appealing a decision).
Full details of the terms on which Edward is retained under the direct access provisions are provided on instruction and on request.