What is a “Direct Brief”? and Who can Directly Brief?
While barristers are typically engaged by law firms, many corporations, non-legal professionals and government departments and agencies are engaging the Bar directly to great effect. Direct briefing provides the opportunity to increase the speed and cost efficiency with which advice is given and matters are resolved.
A “direct brief” is one from the ultimate client to a barrister without using an external solicitor to do the briefing.
This is an option available to: in-house lawyers; corporations; government departments and agencies; and other professionals such as patent attorneys, accountants, town planners and insolvency practitioners.
Direct briefing is a good option to get advice directly, whether or not the subject matter is litigious. Further, even if the matter is the subject of legal proceedings, in-house counsel with a current practising certificate or government solicitors, can brief a barrister directly to appear and advise.
Early briefing of barristers in disputes can be beneficial in effectively managing costs and giving in-house solicitors greater control over the strategic direction of a matter. While barristers are specialists in advocacy and appearing in courts and tribunals, a barrister’s skills also include the earlier identification of key issues in a case, and the development of a litigation strategy.
The early briefing a barrister presents an opportunity to avoid a matter becoming litigious or it necessarily ending in protracted litigation.