Written by Sarah Evans

Barrister at Magdalen Chambers

Sarah has been a family law specialist for over 20 years and has practised as a Barrister on the Western Circuit since 2004. She specialises in cases involving what were formerly known as contact and residence issues, and removals from the jurisdiction.

Barristers under the Direct Access scheme charge one fee for a specified amount of work, which is agreed and paid in advance. There is cost certainty as you know exactly how much you will be charged, so no nasty surprises in the post at the end of the month. The fee may seem at first larger than solicitors but bear in mind in that fee there is included a lot of the work that solicitors would do for you and charge for separately, often by the hour, preparation and in addition the representation at the court hearing. TV programmes would have you believe that barristers waft into court having somehow magically absorbed and assimilated all the relevant information and arguments relating to your case, but the reality is that the vast majority of the hard work goes on behind the scenes in the preparation.

Many barristers will take into account the client’s financial circumstances when agreeing a fee.

The more senior and experienced the barrister, the more they will cost, although many barristers will take into account the client’s financial circumstances when agreeing a fee. The points of contact for this are the barrister’s clerks, who again, are very approachable and friendly and happy to discuss all aspects of the case with you, save for giving legal advice. They will be able to offer you different barristers at different rates who are suitable for your particular case.

Geography also plays a part. Many people don’t realise that barristers are not just based in the Inns of Court in London. There are six what are called ‘Circuits’ in England & Wales. I live in the West Country and therefore practice on the Western Circuit. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the best barristers are only in London, simply because many choose to live elsewhere in the UK. However, there is no restriction as to where a barrister can practice within the UK. However, regional barristers may be more economical simply because the cost of living and travel is cheaper. Again, do your research.


    Did you find this useful?

    Thanks for your feedback. :)

    Can you tell me which of the following applies to you:


    Anything else to add?

    Are you looking to appoint a barrister?

    You an find out more about Sarah and her colleagues here......

    Read More >