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Barrister communication

Posted by vbpamdsser 
Barrister communication
April 22, 2022 01:13PM
Hi,

I am going through a divorce with the help of the solicitors who believe it's a case of a clean break.

We are now approaching a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing and my solicitors recommend hiring a barrister, because as they say this may help a lot to achieve settlement during the hearing and be done with it.

Now, I already kind of agreed, but it turns out I can't talk to the barrister directly and have to go through solicitors. Specifically, they will instruct the barrister prior to the hearing only.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being represented by someone I can't even communicate directly with.

Any ideas? Am I wrong and are my solicitors right?

Thanks!
Re: Barrister communication
April 22, 2022 07:12PM
You can communicate directly with the barrister if you have a conference in advance of the FDR although that will cost more because of the additional time and preparation involved. For an FDR it is rarely necessary. That is for two reasons. (1) Typically a court will allow all day for an FDR. That is not to say you will be before a judge all day but the case is listed for, say, 10 am and you go in before the judge when you need to. The rest of the time - which can be all day up to 4 pm or so - is spent discussing the situation with your barrister and negotiating with the other side. (2) The second reason is that you can only come to a final settlement at an FDR if you are BOTH agreed. If there is no agreement there is no settlement. And no-one can force you to agree. If you are unhappy with what is being proposed you can discuss it at length and, if necessary, walk away - perhaps to think about it for another few days.
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