Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Expert Legal Advice for Your Business ; Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, Tells Us How the Bar Council Can Help Those Faced with Unexpected Legal Problems

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Expert Legal Advice for Your Business ; Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, Tells Us How the Bar Council Can Help Those Faced with Unexpected Legal Problems

Article excerpt

CAN you afford legal advice? Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) don't factor into their business plans unexpected legal issues or disputes, such as problems with a lease of business premises, the need for expert employment advice or recovering payments being withheld by a larger customer. Businesses may also have more predictable requirements for legal advice in the form of advice on copyright or trade mark issues or the renewal of a business lease.

If a legal problem crops up where can businesses find a lawyer who can provide them with the necessary legal input at affordable rates? The Direct Access initiative allows SME owners and managers to go directly to a direct access qualified barrister for legal advice and, should they need it, advocacy. With several thousand barristers in England and Wales now qualified to do this type of work, SMEs can obtain advice that is expert in nature, within a short time and at affordable cost directly from a barrister. You no longer have to go to a solicitor first to obtain the services of a barrister.

WHY USE A DIRECT ACCESS BARRISTER? The majority of barristers are selfemployed, although they often share premises. This arrangement usually results in low overheads meaning that barristers' rates are often very affordable to businesses of all sizes including SMEs.

Barristers are experts in disputes and, in turn, also understand how to avoid disputes reaching the court room. If a legal matter does get that far, they are well equipped and qualified to represent businesses in court, or before tribunals. Barristers are robustly regulated, insured and have gone through a rigorous qualification process to get to where they are. …

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