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Would I need a barrister at the 1st appointment?

  • Meeks
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01 Jan 09 #75489 by Meeks
Topic started by Meeks
Wishing you all Happy New Year ..

I was told by one of the wiki people who has kindly replied to my posts many times that I wouldn't need a barrister for the first appointment. However, I have come across some posts in which these wiki people say they had the barristers at their first appointments.

My solicitor has been acting for me since the beginning of August, and I would like to think she has been genuine, but I simply cannot afford the legal fees anymore. I have got the first hearing on the 13th Jan and, in fact, I have already told her assistant ( my solicitor is back on the 5th ) a couple days ago that it was very likely that I would have to attend court myself if we could not reach an agreement with my stbx before the hearing.

Would I need a barrister? If I do, roughly how much do they charge for the first appointment? My solicitor charges me £225 p/h + VAT. Her assistant refused to give me a rough estimate the other day.

1k, 2k, 3k .. or 5k?

Many thanks

Miko

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01 Jan 09 #75493 by D L
Reply from D L
Hi there

Barristers charge in fixed fees. For an FDA in a normal money case, the going rate is £350 - £500 + VAT.

As to whether you need one....being one, I am slightly biased on that point, so I will let the others help you ;).

Amanda

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01 Jan 09 #75496 by Meeks
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Thank you for the reply, Amanda.

What sort of option would I have? I mean,

1) attend on my own
2) with my solicitor
3) with my solicitor and a barrister

???

At court what would my solicitor do? And a barrister? I'm very confused at the moment.

Miko

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01 Jan 09 #75499 by D L
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Hi there

Firstly, if you have a barrister at the hearing you tell the solicitor not to attend. Counsel do not need their hand holding by a solicitor, and to be frank, a solicitor or their clerk attending with counsel is just a money making exercise until FH where they do have a use.

An FDA goes one of two ways. If you have all the info, it can be used as an FDR, so you would therefore negotiate a settlement and the case concludes if you are able to agree. If you are confident you can do this alone, then there is nothing stopping you acting in person.

The other way it goes is that if all of the info has not yet been made available, the FDA is more administrative, with dates set for evidence. I always believe that you should be represented at these hearings, as this is where the case is set up in many respects. If yours is likely to go this way, I would instruct counsel and tell the sol you do not want her or a rep from her office attending.


Finally, if you are going to negotitate alone, you may want an idea of possible outcome.

If you read this

www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Forum/...G-IN-THIS-FORUM.html

and post that info, the wiki peeps woll do the sums for you and tell you what you are looking at.

Amanda

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01 Jan 09 #75503 by Meeks
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Hi Amanda

" If I have a barrister at the hearing " .. I have left everything with my solicitor since Aug and I have to ask you - what do you mean if I have a barrister? Can I get ( reserve ) a barrister myself? In the past I applied for PMS ( which was unsuccessful ), and my solicitor said we wouldn't need a barrister. I'm very confused now. At court who would defend me - solicitor ( or myself ) or barrister?

I'm sorry, but I don't think I have figured out how the appointment work :(

Miko

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01 Jan 09 #75512 by maggie
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Are "First Appointment" and First Directions Appointment" interchangeable terms for the same thing?
It's very confusing when HMCS etc
www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/d190_e.pdf
on official websites call the first court appointment the First Appointment but lawyers and judges refer to the first appointment as the FDA - First Directions Appointment.
Judicial Studies Board :Family Bench Book
www.jsboard.co.uk/downloads/fambb/11_ancillary_relief.pdf
(b) On the filing of form A the court office must fix a first appointment (FDA) between 12 and
16 weeks from that date and give notice of the appointment, which must be given to the
respondent within 4 days.

Hard enough to understand the process without different terms being used for the same things?

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01 Jan 09 #75518 by dukey
Reply from dukey
Hello

In family law you cannot instruct a barrister as a lay person you need a solicitor to do it for you, though i belive there are expeptions.(some barristers are indipendant, not in chambers or takeing instruction from the bar counsel)

As a general rule the more you have to lose the more you need a barrister if the marrital assets are 50k dont bother if they are 500k then yes expert help would be wise.

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