• Members of the public may now go directly to a barrister without having to involve an instructing solicitor or other intermediary. In the past it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor through whom the barrister would be instructed. Although the barrister’s role remains essentially the same, members of the public may instruct a barrister directly without the need for a solicitor. 

    The main advantage of the public access scheme is that it saves you money. Instead of paying for a solicitor and a barrister, you only pay for a barrister. 

  • A lawyer is a generic term for someone who practises law. Solicitors and barristers are different types of lawyer offering different types of services, although there is increasing overlap. 

    • Solicitors take conduct for litigation and take the formal steps that are necessary to progress and action. A solicitor refers work to a barrister for specialist advice or to appear in court to represent the client. 

    • Barristers are trained as specialist advisers and advocates. This means that they become involved where expert legal advice is needed, where documents need to be drafted for their clients to use, or for advocacy. 

    In the past, a solicitor was usually the first person that a member of the public would go to with their legal problem. Now, members of the public can approach certain qualified barristers under the public access scheme. 

  • I can help you with representation, drafting and advice. Specifically, I can:

    • Appear on your behalf at court;

    • Give you legal advice;

    • Draft legal documents for you, such as a will or statement of claim;

    • Advise you on the formal steps which need to be taken in proceedings before a court or other organisation and draft formal documents for use in those proceedings;

    • Draft letters for you;

    • Prepare witness statements based on your or your witness’ instructions;

    • Where a case requires an expert witness (such as a surveyor), I can advise you on the choice of a suitable expert and may draft a letter of instruction which you can then send to the expert as a letter from you on your own notepaper;

    • Negotiate on your behalf and attend employment or investigative hearings where appropriate;

  • It is important to realise that there are some limitations to the public access scheme:

    • I cannot go on the court record or provide my address to the court as the ‘address for service’ of documents. You will need to provide your own address as the ‘address for service’ of documents sent to you by the court and other parties.

    • I cannot conduct your litigation. This means I cannot undertake the general management of your case and remains your responsibility to comply with any obligations relating to the running of the case or arising out of it.

    • I cannot serve court documents on other parties or file them at court on your behalf. You will need to take responsibility for serving formal court documents on other parties and filing them at court.

  • Yes. Whether you are an individual or a business, I can help you with all your drafting needs.

    Please see the separate sections of my website for further details: PropertyEmployment, and Commercial.

  • Instructing me is straightforward. Please follow these simple steps:

    1. Enquiry – Complete the enquiry form online providing some details about your case and how you would like me to help you. Alternatively, contact me by email or telephone.

    2. Sign the client care letter – In order to instruct me, you will need to sign and return a copy of the client care letter. This will set out the terms under which I agree to work.

    3. Fees – You will also be asked to pay the agreed fees in advance.

    4. Working on your case – Once I have received the signed client care letter and fees, I will begin work on your case. I may at this stage request further information or documents.

  • Gainsborough Law values client feedback. Please use our feedback form or see our complaints policy. 

  • Absolutely! Please get in touch with our friendly team.

  • Gainsborough Law uses “The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (Updated for the GDPR in 2018)’ and these terms will apply to all instructions received or accepted by counsel unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to the commencement of the work. Our Terms of Work can be downloaded here. However, Gainsborough Law is committed to ensuring that work is undertaken by counsel on mutually agreeable terms.  If you would prefer to contract on terms which are different from the New Standard Terms, for example COMBAR terms, please contact us at your earliest convenience and we will be happy to discuss terms of work further.

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