The Bar Council has authorised a scheme that will enable legal executives to instruct barristers directly
The scheme operates through a licensing system run by the BarDIRECT Committee of the Bar Council. BarDIRECT is an initiative, launched by the Bar Council in the 1990s, which enables organisations with relevant experience and expertise to use the specialist advice and advocacy services of barristers directly, without the intervention of a solicitor. Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) can now instruct counsel to obtain written advice, draft documents and for representation at court, without having to go through a solicitor. ILEX president Mary Dowson said: "The BarDirect scheme is a further step for legal executives to be recognised on par with solicitors. Clients can now have the choice of instructing either a legal executive or solicitor to access specialist advice and representation from barristers."