In England and Wales we see a divide in the legal profession. We have Solicitors, Legal Executives, Legal Advisors and Barristers. The main divide we find is between the Solicitors and the Barristers. Most assume a Barrister wears a wig and gown & attends court. Whilst Solicitors prepare everything for court. This is true to an extent. In all legally aided case the Solicitor must apply for the funding. Therefore the time it takes the solicitor to prepare for the hearing which could be 6 hours or 12 hours or whatever it takes, this will all be paid for by legal aid. The benefits of legal aid: A person who is unable to afford legals services will be eligible to attain legal counsel. This means the solicitor will be spearheading the case. The case will be shaped & guided by the solicitor.
So why should I pay a Barrister? The real question, I guess is. How important is the result?
When a person is dealing with a serious and complex issue in life. It could be a critical health issue or a serious financial issue. You can head to the emergency room or to the bank. You might be able to get a quick-loan from the bank. You might get to see the doctor in the emergency room after waiting for a lengthy duration. They might offer you a quick fix. What if the solution was more complex? It require fine tuning? It required an in-depth analysis. Would you still remain in the emergency room? Would you remain in the in bank trying to get a loan or would you head to the financial expert to help with the issues?
Would you find the specialist doctor who will be able to offer you a proper analasis and offer the necessary surgery as needed?
I think previously, Barristers and their Clerks have diluted there value by not taking control of their position in society. Not all Barrister needs to charge £500 per hour. Nor does a doctor need to charge £500 an hour. Nor do all doctors and barrister charge so much. The new bread of barristers are more accepting of this. With Direct access or Public access the barristers have more control of their work. No longer tied to a aged clerking system. So many chambers are spearheading this.
Do we need GPs? Do we need Solicitors?
What we need to asses is the roles everyone plays. For matters where a solicitor is needed, Yes. There are matters which a Litigation Authorised Barrister can do. This will be cost-effective and the Barrister can see the matter to the end.
Similarly a GP can prescribe what you need, and prepare everything up til the surgery however, it would require the attention of a Specialist Surgeon. This is where barristers are. Barristers are uniquely trained to offer procedural answers. They are problem solvers and answer givers. These days barrister are trained to be able to deal with all aspects previously a solicitor was needed for.
There are barristers are functioning similarly to solicitors. This means cost-effective solution for companies. All correspondence is dealt with their Litigation Authorised Barrister.
The reason to instruct a Barrister privately?
Well Barristers are part of a specialist group in the U.K. The world around has duplicated them. Now, in legally aided cases where a barrister is paid under legal. The barrister is going to follow the instructions provided by the solicitor. When you go directly to the barrister. You going to provide the instructions and receive the advise directly. This removes any middle persons.
Barristers Affordability? Cost-Effective Solutions?
The common misconception is barristers cost too much. This can be true. What you need to be aware of is. The barristers are usually instructed by the solicitor. This would mean the barrister will get involved at a later stage. Where as involving a specialist barrister at the initial stages will draw a clear route and save you on unnecessary cost on legal advice. I like to refer to it as the big picture. When a solicitor require an in-depth advice they contact a barrister. As member of the public you can do the same, go straight to the source. Once you have a barrister advice. You yourself can plan your cost and asses where you need to instruct a barrister. You can always seek advice from the barrister when necessary. Take advice on how to be cost-effective. Pay in fixed fee. Always ask for a fair fees.