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.

It depends on whether there is any. Sometimes barristers meet with a client when there is no paperwork and gather information from you during the meeting, or ‘conference’ as it is termed. There is no need to see anything if it doesn’t yet exist, but if you are already in court proceedings your Barrister will need to see in advance all papers that the Court has already, called the ‘Court Bundle’. This is a lever arch file separated into different sections, A, B, C D etc and will include all the important information about the case.

If you are already in court proceedings your Barrister will need to see in advance all papers that the Court has already, called the ‘Court Bundle’.

Section A is usually each person involved with the case’s (called a ‘party’) position statements and skeleton arguments, Section B Applications and Orders, Section C sworn statements. Sections D and E are usually experts, valuations or Cafcass reports and miscellaneous documents such as Police reports, or correspondence. If you have any of these documents, your barrister will need to see them, along with any other document you think may or may not be relevant. As a rule of thumb, the more information, the better and it enables your barrister to advise you as to what is relevant and what should go before the Court.

It is also helpful, and can cut down on a lot of time and expense, if you write an email or letter setting out what the background to your case is, what you think are the important points, what you think the problems are and what you want to happen. However, none of this is essential or, in my experience, a substitute for a face to face meeting or telephone call.

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