Alison is qualified under the Bar Council Public Access Scheme. In the areas of Criminal Law, Employment Law, Complaints against the Police, Prison Law and Inquests, members of the public and companies/organisations can contact her directly. There is no need to make contact via a Solicitor. The benefit of this is twofold:-
It is usually cheaper for the client as they only need to pay one set of fees, rather than fees for both the solicitor and the barrister (in many cases this will cut the cost in half if the client is prepared to undertake most of the administrative work in the case);
Advice is often obtained quicker as the client does not have to wait for the Solicitor to instruct the barrister and pass on the papers.
Public Access in not available in all cases, it is sometimes neccesary to have the involvement of a solicitor as well as a barrister, this is particularly so when the case involves multiple claimants, or there is a large amount of correspondence to be sent, or funding applications to be completed. If you are considering instructing Alison directly under the public Access Scheme, she will be able to advise on whether it is an appropriate case.
In appropriate cases, Alison will take on public access cases under her exceptional financial hardship scheme.
Alison cannot take on criminal cases under the public access scheme in situations where the defendant would be entitled to legal aid.