I accept instructions, at my discretion, directly from members of the public.
This can have huge advantages to you as it is likely to be less expensive than engaging a solicitor (or other professional) as well as a barrister.
These are my current terms of work:
So far as payment is concerned, I ask for payment in advance – before 1st meeting, before release of any documents I have drafted and before I attend any hearing. By “payment” I mean receipt of cleared funds.
My first meeting with you will usually be for a set fee – this will depend on the complexity of the subject and how long it takes me to prepare for our meeting (I will tell you the exact sum before the meeting but its usually between £250 – 500 + VAT).
This will buy you the time it takes me to prepare, an hour of my time in conference during which we will go through your case and agree how we are going to work together, and a note of what we discussed and agreed.
At that first meeting I will also endeavour to give you an estimate as to over all costs – there are various options open to us including an hourly rate (£250 (+ VAT)) depending on the subject and the amount of work I agree to do. Alternatively we may be able to agree a fixed “brief fee” for all work together with payment by instalments.
The traditional “Cab Rank Rule” by which a barrister must accept instructions from anyone provided s/he is competent in that area of law, do not apply to Direct Access instructions. This means that it is a matter for me to decide whether I want to work for any particular prospective client.
Only accept Direct Access clients who who are referred to me by Tax Advisers who are not members of Licensed Access bodies or who do not hold a Licensed Access License in their own right (Direct Access via an Intermediary), Insolvency Practitioners, Directors of Companies seeking to instruct me on their own behalf or on behalf of the Company, Partnerships (including LLPs) and Sole Proprietors.
That being said, I’m happy to discuss matters to see if I’m willing or able to take instructions on a case by case basis.
One very important term is that if I think it is necessary and advise that a solicitor is instructed in order to conduct any part of any litigation (whether in whole or in part) this must be done. If I advise that a solicitor (or indeed any other professional) is brought on board to assist in a case and this is not done I will return any papers I have and I will not be able to do any further work on the particular case or matter.