Legal fees cut by instructing barristers direct

Companies
should benefit from cheaper legal advice from today after barristers ditched
the rule that prevented clients from engaging them directly.

Previously,
anyone wishing to employ a barrister had to go through a solicitor, duplicating
legal fees.

But
now clients will be able to instruct barristers directly for specialist advice,
legal drafting and courtroom advocacy.

However,
direct public access will still not be allowed in criminal, family or
immigration cases, and barristers will not take on the role of managing
litigation that is performed by solicitors.

Barristers
who intend to be instructed by the public will have to undertake training
first, with more than 50 already taking part in a pilot scheme.

By Mike Berry

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