Public Access & litigation
What is Public Access?
Usually, if anyone desired advice or representation from a barrister, he/she had to instruct a solicitor first. Barristers were not allowed to deal directly with their clients. The roles of barristers and solicitors were very different.
In fact the Solicitor had the following roles :
- complete all the initial paperwork in the case that would start proceedings.
- take statements from potential witnesses.
- hold any money on account when necessary (to pay expert witnesses for example).
- respond to any correspondence from the other side.
- prepare the file of relevant papers (‘the bundle’) to be used by the parties and court at the final hearing.
The barrister had following role :
- provide written advice about the strength of the case before starting proceedings.
- meet the client to take instructions, usually with a solicitor present too.
- attend at any court hearings necessary before the case can be resolved.
- represent the client in court at the final hearing when the main issues are decided.
- question any witness during that final hearing and make speeches (or submissions) on behalf of the client.
This arrangement provided a comprehensive service to anyone needing legal help… but it could also be expensive to employ two specialists.
Recently the regulations have changed and it has become possible now for someone to instruct a barrister without need of a solicitor.
Tersely, that’s what ‘Public Access’ means – the option for members of the public to just use a barrister of their choice.
What are the advantages?
The obvious advantage is simply more choice and greater flexibility. You can still choose to :
- Represent yourself (in most types of hearings).
- Instruct a solicitor alone.
- Instruct a solicitor and a barrister.
But now there is the additional option of instructing a public access barrister for some or all of the hearings in the case.
By doing this it may be possible to get excellent legal representation for less cost.
Is Public Access right for me?
Not always. It depends on the type of case and the issues involved. Anyone intending to use a public access barrister should expect to have a greater role in peparing the case before the final hearing. Clients can expect to get advice about what they need to do, but need to undertake more of the preparation work themselves.
Barrister’s chambers do not employ large numbers of administrative staff as our focus is providing advice and representation at court.
This is reflected in lower fees and the high quality service we are still able to offer.
Some types of cases will continue to benefit from the involvement of solicitors, for example :
- Where the client is entitled to public funding (or ‘legal aid’) and wants to fund the case in this way.
- Cases that require money to be held ‘on account’ for the client.
- When a client will struggle to undertake the preparatory work and needs the extra support a solicitor can offer.
- Complex matters that require the use of both a barrister and solicitor.
We initially assess whether your circumstances are suitable for public access instructions.
AUTHORISATION TO CONDUCT LITIGATION
Here at REGENTS PAK CHAMBERS, since we are not only authorised to accept your case without a solicitor instructs but also we can conduct litigation on your behalf which means that we can prepare your case, issues proceedings in the Court just like a solicitor, and give our name on the Court record to accept documents from Court on your behalf. So, you will enjoy two services in one i.e. of Solicitors and Barristers.
If the arrangement is not right for you, for any reason, we will always advise you how best to proceed.
What do I need to do?
Identify the area of law your case concerns
- Have a look at our page headed ‘Areas of Law’ and see if we undertake the type of work you need help with.
There are some examples below if you’re not sure.
Immigration & Asylum Law
The service can be provided alone by the Barrister under Public Access Scheme. We provide many services under this head.
Please click page “Immigration & Asylum Law“.
- Couples divorcing or separating & trying to divide their assets – (‘Ancillary Relief’)
- Deciding where children will live if their parents live apart – (‘Residence Orders’)
- Arrangements for children to spend time with parents or grandparents (‘Contact Orders’)
- Disputes about particular matters concerning children (‘Specific Issue Order’)
- Financial provision for children (‘Maintenance’ payments)
- Problems with violence or harassment from ex-partners – (‘Non-Molestation Injunctions’)
- Tradesmen not completing work as agreed (‘Breach of Contract’)
- Bad or cancelled holiday accomodation
- Defective or shoddy shop purchases (‘Sale of Goods’)
- Failure by a company to provide services as promised (‘Misrepresentation’)
- Problems with property after the death of a family member (‘Probate’)
- Civil actions against the police (Negligence or unlawful force)
Get in touch with us
- Download and complete the Public Access Enquiry Form and email it back to us.
- We will identify if Mr. Zaheer Ahmad may be suitable for your case and check his diary. We’ll let you know if Mr. Ahmad is available for your assigned matter.
The barrister will contact you by telephone shortly after to discuss whether your case is suitable for public access. There is no charge for this.
If public access is suitable for you and your case we can arrange a meeting to discuss things more fully and identify what work needs to be done and the cost.
Choose the work you want us to do
Access the level of service that suits you :
- You may want a number of meetings to discuss developments or just one conference to decide whether you have a case.
- You may want a barrister to represent you at every hearing or just the final hearing in the case.
- At each stage of the court process we will agree a fixed fee before undertaking any work.
If you have any questions please email us, and we will be happy to help.
For more details on Public Access Scheme, please click on the following links
Link of Bar Standards Board “PUBLIC ACCESSGUIDANCE FOR LAY CLIENTS“.
Link of Bar Council’s Guide to Public Access.
What will it cost?
There are a number of factors that will affect the cost of work undertaken. See our guidance on fees by clicking the link below.