Criminal Barristers

If you wish to book a Direct Access Barrister who covers an area of law that you are looking for a Solicitor for, get in touch as soon as possible. Direct Access Barristers who are authorised to conduct litigation can provide most of the legal services that Solicitors can. It may often be more cost effective to instruct a Barrister directly than to instruct a Solicitor. You can call 0207 867 3744 to get in touch with a Direct Access Barrister who is an alternative to a Solicitor. When you call provide brief details of the assistance you will require, you will then be provided with a quote to agree, a client care letter will be sent to you inclusive of terms and conditions. You will then provide all papers relating to your matter, make payment and the work will be completed. Direct Access Barristers also refer matters to Solicitors.

The first civilizations generally did not distinguish between civil law and criminal law. The first written codes of law were designed by the Sumerians. Around 2100–2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the Neo-Sumerian king of Ur, enacted written legal code whose text has been discovered: the Code of Ur-Nammu[1] although an earlier code of Urukagina of Lagash ( 2380–2360 BC ) is also known to have existed. Another important early code was the Code of Hammurabi, which formed the core of Babylonian law.[2] Only fragments of the early criminal laws of Ancient Greece have survived, e.g. those of Solon and Draco.[3]

The Old Bailey in London (in 1808) was the venue for more than 100,000 criminal trials between 1674 and 1834, including all death penalty cases.

In Roman lawGaius‘s Commentaries on the Twelve Tables also conflated the civil and criminal aspects, treating theft (furtum) as a tort. Assault and violent robbery were analogized to trespass as to property. Breach of such laws created an obligation of law or vinculum juris discharged by payment of monetary compensation or damages. The criminal law of imperial Rome is collected in Books 47–48 of the Digest.[4] After the revival of Roman law in the 12th century, sixth-century Roman classifications and jurisprudence provided the foundations of the distinction between criminal and civil law in European law from then until the present time.[5]

In many countries the traditional divisions between barristers and solicitors are breaking down. Barristers once enjoyed a monopoly on appearances before the higher courts, but in Great Britain this has now been abolished, and solicitor advocates can generally appear for clients at trial. Increasingly, firms of solicitors are keeping even the most advanced advisory and litigation work in-house for economic and client relationship reasons. Similarly, the prohibition on barristers taking instructions directly from the public has also been widely abolished. But, in practice, direct instruction is still a rarity in most jurisdictions, partly because barristers with narrow specializations, or who are only really trained for advocacy, are not prepared to provide general advice to members of the public.

Historically, barristers have had a major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing evidence. In some areas of law, that is still the case. In other areas, it is relatively common for the barrister to receive the brief from the instructing solicitor to represent a client at trial only a day or two before the proceeding. Part of the reason for this is cost. A barrister is entitled to a ‘brief fee’ when a brief is delivered, and this represents the bulk of her/his fee in relation to any trial. They are then usually entitled to a ‘refresher’ for each day of the trial after the first. But if a case is settled before the trial, the barrister is not needed and the brief fee would be wasted. Some solicitors avoid this by delaying delivery of the brief until it is certain the case will go to trial.