Direct Briefing of MTECC Barristers 29/09/10.
29 September 2010 Super User Victorian Bar Council Direct Access Brief In the usual case, a barrister in Victoria is bound by the Barristers’ Rules of Conduct to accept an engagement on behalf of a client only through the client’s solicitor (see s3.2.3 of the Legal Profession Act 2004). However, in certain circumstances, a barrister may accept instructions from a client or approved professional organisation without the intervention of a solicitor. The barrister can do this pursuant to the Direct Access Rules in Part VI of the Bar’s Rules of Conduct.
- Direct access to a barrister is not permitted where:
- a. the matter involves an appearance in court in a civil case unless the written permission of the Ethics Committee is obtained;
b. the matter involves an appearance in a criminal case in the County Court (unless briefed by Victoria Legal Aid) or higher courts; or c. the barrister considers it in the interests of a client that a solicitor be instructed. A barrister shall not commence any work on a direct access matter until the barrister and the client have executed the standard terms of engagement approved by the Bar Council.
- Disclosure Statement and Costs Agreement for Barristers in Direct Access Matters.
- Conditional Costs Agreement and Disclosure Statement for Barristers in Direct Access Matters.
If it is impossible to do so prior to commencing the work, the terms should be executed as soon as is reasonably practicable. The Bar Council has approved a number of professional organisations for Direct Access.