Legal Advice

Most people in business will require ongoing legal advice or just a sounding board for a variety of legal matters which can crop up at any time.

Just suppose you could speak directly to a qualified specialist barrister whenever you have a legal issue for just £300 a year.

In a nutshell, that’s Litigation Warranty.

A direct access barrister gets straight to the heart of any legal matter.

Barristers are educated in all areas of law, but tend to specialise in one or two. Therefore, it is reassuring for Litigation Warranty members to know that general questions regarding legal issues can be answered by barristers in much the same way as they can by solicitors. More importantly though, when specialist advice is required, Litigation Warranty provides a fast and highly cost effective route to obtaining it.

The last thing anybody wants is a legal battle, but sometimes there is no choice. Before you even consider entering into litigation you will probably want to know the following:-

1)    Do I/we have a case?

2)    What are the other side’s legal arguments likely to be?

3)    What are the prospects of winning if we enter litigation?

4)    What are the alternatives to litigation?

5)    What are the costs?

6)    What are the risks?

7)    What are the likely timescales involved if the matter goes to court?

Why not bypass solicitors and take advice directly from a specialist barrister?

Litigation Warranty enables its members to contact Cotswold Barristers chambers via a secure internet portal allowing them to upload documents and provide an overview of the matter to be discussed with counsel. A Barrister’s Clerk will then allocate the matter to the most suitable barrister and arrange a skype or telephone conference. The entire process takes no more than two working days.


For centuries barristers have received instructions from solicitors to act as advocates and to provide specialist legal opinions. The only way for a member of the public to deal with a barrister was via a solicitor. However, that all changed in 2004 when the Direct Public Access scheme was introduced. This allowed barristers to accept instructions directly from the public.

Traditionally, when people go to a solicitor they will pay hundreds of pounds an hour for initial advice. This is on a time spent basis and rarely, if ever, will a solicitor be willing to provide a fixed fee quotation.

Before going to Court, the opinion of a barrister was and is always sought in matters of any complexity. This is because barristers specialise in presenting cases in court and therefore will have the deepest insight into what is necessary to give the case the best chance of success.

Mark Smith, Head of Chambers at Cotswold Barristers said “there is nothing like being the public face of the case, actually standing before the judge or jury and arguing the matter, to bring about the best possible levels of commitment to preparation.

It is that wealth of experience, specialism in advocacy and in the particular area of law, which solicitors traditionally sought out from counsel in seeking their opinions.

No case of any measure of seriousness would be launched without a barrister’s opinion to give it the stamp of approval.

Best kept secret

Arguably the best kept secret in legal services, around half of English barristers are qualified to provide direct public access. However, until January of 2014 direct public access barristers could only accept instructions to act as advocates in civil, criminal and tribunal proceedings and to give written and oral advice on other areas of law.

In January 2014 the Bar Standards Board introduced new qualifications which allowed suitably experienced barristers to handle the mechanics of litigating a case, such as issuing the case at court, and filing and serving all papers, which were previously the preserve of solicitors. These steps previously had to be taken by clients in person. The changes thus allow a full service to be provided to clients, as the litigation-qualified barrister can do everything a solicitor can.

It is more cost effective to take advice directly from a specialist barrister. In some cases this can save 10’s of thousands of pounds.

Please consider this analogy – if you knew you had a brain tumour would you want to have several visits over a period of months to a GP or would you prefer to go direct to a Consultant Brain Surgeon? This is no different, but it might make the decision even easier if you knew you had to pay your GP hundreds if not thousands of pounds for their initial opinion and then a referral.

Why should people have to pay more and wait months for access to a barrister’s opinion on a specialist legal issue when they only need to wait days?

Why pay two lawyers when you only really need one specialist barrister?

Specialist Advice

The areas of specialist legal advice provided to members of Litigation Warranty include, but are not limited to, the following:-

  • Business contracts and associated disputes
  • Private criminal defence and prosecution
  • Employment and HR
  • Financial services and banking
  • Intellectual property and reputation management
  • Professional negligence (as claimant)
  • Property matter as owner
  • Property matter as landlord or tenant (including planning)
  • Regulatory enforcement including prosecutions
  • Corporate governance
  • Probate and inheritance related issues
  • Civil fraud

Whenever people get themselves involved in a legal wrangle they generally want to know three things:-

1)      What can be done?

2)      What are the chances of success?

3)      How much will it cost to deal with the issue?

Members of Litigation Warranty will not be charged for the initial review of papers nor the initial telephone consultation.

In some cases the advice you receive will result in no further action being necessary. However, if there is a case which needs further consideration, for a fixed fee of £500 you will be provided with written advice regarding risks, having considered both side’s legal position, and strategies. This level of advice, known as ‘Counsels Opinion’, will include a fixed fee quote to bring the matter to conclusion in Court.

For peace of mind and to become a member, please CLICK HERE

“Direct access to a barrister when you need it most”