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How Do I Instruct a Barrister?

Members of the public access team cover many different areas of law and will provide legal advice and representation to cover all needs.

How do I instruct a Barrister?

Try to clarify the nature of your problem and what it is you want the barrister to do. Telephone chambers and speak to one of the clerks. They will inform you of what to do next. You may be asked to provide written instructions, setting out the factual background of your case and what it is that you want the barrister to do. Alternatively, the barrister may decide that it would be appropriate in the first instance to discuss that matter with you on the telephone or at a preliminary meeting to decide on the best way forward. On some occasions we can provide consultations by video link through Skype.

Proof of your identity

In certain circumstances, the barrister will be required by law to carry out certain identification procedures. These must be followed as soon as reasonably practicable after you have first made contact with the barrister.

If you are acting as an individual, you may be required to produce in person your current passport or other national identity card or a new form of driving licence (with a photograph) together with a recent utility bill, bank or building society statement.

If you are acting on behalf of a company, you will need to produce a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, the latest accounts filed at Companies House and evidence that you are authorised to act on behalf of the company.

What happens next?

The barrister will have to decide whether your case is suitable for public access. This is usually done without charge. If your case is suitable for public access, you and the barrister will have to agree terms on which he or she is to carry out the work. Those terms will be set out in a client care letter which will be sent to you.

If your case is not suitable for public access, the barrister will tell you so. If you wish, he or she may recommend a suitable solicitor for you to instruct.

The client care letter

The client care letter records the terms of the agreement between you and the barrister. It is a very important document and you must read it carefully.

It contains a description of the work to be undertaken, the basis on which you will be charged for that work, and the other terms of the agreement between you and the barrister. If you are unclear about, or disagree with any of the contents of the letter, you must raise your concerns with the barrister immediately.

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