Frequently Asked Questions
We have the answers to your questions...
Throughout any working day I am asked many questions & below are the ones that seem to be the most common. Hopefully you will find what you are looking for. If not, please use the contact form by clicking the button below or simply call us direct for a no obligation chat.
When you are facing a legal challenge you will need a top person on your side. By going straight to a barrister like Stewart Patterson you will receive expert guidance and support from the outset. Another benefit is that using a barrister from the outset can save you a great deal of money. Read more on this here: Do I Need A Solicitor Or Do I Need a barrister? or use our contact page
You are welcome to contact me directly (email form and details here) for an initial fact finding conversation. It is both confidential and free. We will ascertain if my services are going to be of benefit to you. After this first step, we normally schedule a further conversation which does carry a fee. Get full details and a clear explanation of this here: Free Enquiry & Rates
I offer a wide range of legal services to both individuals as well as to companies. They include advice, representation, mediation and arbitration. I specialise in the Property & Construction, Civil, Contract, Regulatory, Marine and Criminal fields. I am highly qualified and experienced in all of these areas.
Details and links to my full range of services can be found HERE
Legal action, as we know can be stressful, time consuming and expensive. With all of this in mind it is important to know that there are alternatives to court action, with some especially useful if your claim is for £10,000 or less. For your reference we have produced a quick guide on ‘Value of Claim V’s Legal Costs’. You can get more details of our arrangements HERE or use our contact form if you need a more specific answer.
Almost certainly I can help. There are many different circumstances in such cases as well as different types of contracts including implied and verbal contracts. The best thing you can do is take action today. First, define clearly in your own mind the exact issues and nature of the problem, then secondly call or email me with the details. Visit our contact page to do this.
In a nutshell both solicitors and barristers are types of Lawyer. Then as a surprise to many, using a barrister directly will often be very much cheaper than going to a solicitor first. There are other differences which, depending on your case, may or may not be significant to you. Read more on this here: What is the difference between a solicitor and a barrister
It used to be necessary to go to a solicitor first. Thanks to the internet it is now easy to find a barrister and contact one direct. If this case is one in which you need the services of a barrister it will save time and money to go to one directly. This would particularly apply to higher value claims or where the case is likely to be complicated. Read more on this here: What is the difference between a solicitor and a barrister
Barristers’ chambers are the premises from which they work. Although they share premises, legal libraries and other overheads, such as administrative staff, they work independently and charge a separate fee for each case.
A barrister may cover any type of legal work, both criminal and civil cases, but many barristers specialise in particular types of case. A barrister’s job is to advise either by writing an opinion or holding a conference, to draft documents, and to represent his clients in Court. All barristers have special advocacy training.
Barristers are traditionally instructed by solicitors, and it is still possible to go to a barrister by going to a solicitor first, even if you will need a barrister in the end. However, recently some barristers have become available on a “direct access” basis. This saves the cost of employing a solicitor as well as a barrister where a barrister is needed. If you think that you may need the services of a barrister here is the answer in detail: Instructing a barrister
Direct Access means that you can instruct a barrister yourself without first going to a solicitor. Only some barristers accept work on this basis, and those who do have undergone a special course. A barrister accepting direct access work will explain to you the work he is able to do himself, and what arrangements there are to carry out work which would otherwise be done by a solicitor. There is a great article on it here: Direct Access to barristers
In many cases where a solicitor is also instructed you will not meet your barrister until the day of the hearing. That is because the solicitor acts as an intermediary, supplying the barrister with all the information he needs. However in other cases you will meet your barrister at one or more prearranged meetings (conferences). These are usually at his Chambers, but may be at some other convenient place. It is more likely that you will meet him in conference if you have taken advantage of direct access.
Both are means of settling disputes, but in arbitration a decision is made by the arbitrator, while the result of a successful mediation is an agreement between the parties. This means that after an arbitration, the unsuccessful party may well be disappointed, just as in a court case. After mediation, both parties should go away feeling that they have the best deal possible in the circumstances.
Sometimes during the course of a mediation a decision is required, and it becomes necessary to switch from mediation to arbitration. If this is likely, it is important to choose as the neutral person one who is both a qualified arbitrator and accredited mediator. You can see more of this in my list of services
Many barristers charge by the hour and sometimes publish their hourly rate. It is also possible to get a quotation for a particular item of work. However it is customary for a barrister to charge a “brief fee”, that is a fixed fee for appearing in Court, and there is no reason why you should not ask for a fixed fee for an opinion, a conference or any other type of work. Here are details of this as well as my rates click here: What are the costs of hiring a barrister?