Whether you’re looking to clear up a construction issue, a family dispute or looking for someone to handle your divorce, a lot of the time the primary consideration is cost. The legal system can be notoriously expensive, especially if your case involves a lot of work and a lot of hours. That’s why it makes sense to seek out the most cost-effective solution to your problem, but which solution is cheaper, a solicitor firm or direct access barristers?
What’s the difference?
The first thing to remember is that barristers and solicitors are both lawyers, but they are different types of lawyer thanks to their training and expertise. In England and Wales, the legal system is ‘split’, meaning there is a division of labour between solicitors and lawyers.
One key difference is that solicitors are not self-employed whereas barristers are. That means a barrister is not permitted to form a company or a partnership. Instead they are sole traders, and thanks to changes in the regulations over the past decade, public access barristers with all sorts of legal expertise are available to hire by the public directly. Using a barrister means clients will have access to a specialist in a particular area of law. Whilst it’s true that solicitors sometimes do specialise in a certain area, primarily they are litigators. This involves conducting meetings with the client, working out a case, carrying out communications with the solicitors on the other side as well as sorting out any paperwork.
Barristers spend more time in court than solicitors and are the ones who deal with witnesses as well as give evidence to the judge. Whereas it’s still commonplace for a solicitor to come to court in order to support a barrister, either by having files to support a barrister’s case or by taking notes, more and more barristers are attending court without the aid of a solicitor. This is because it’s more cost-effective for the client.
Why are barristers more cost-effective?
A barrister is usually the most cost-effective way of going through the legal system because they are paid by their work. A solicitor meanwhile will charge by the hour. When you pay a barrister, you are only paying for what you need, such as their expertise and time. With a solicitor, however, you’re paying additional costs which contribute towards the running of a solicitor’s office.
It’s highly likely that the most cost-effective solution to your legal problem is direct access barristers. In order to receive quotes from highly qualified barristers who will specialise in the area of law you need help in, enter your details at Barristers4u. Remember, getting a quote is completely free and you only pay once the barrister has been directly instructed by you.