A Guide To Instructing An Advocate in a Road Traffic Case

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A Guide To Instructing An Advocate in a Road Traffic Case

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Advocates in road traffic casesA Guide To Instructing An Advocate in a Road Traffic Case

Who is best for your case?


The first thing you need to do is to find a solicitor who has the type of experience and knowledge that you can depend upon to source the right advocate for the job. Your choice of solicitor will often determine the  choice that you will be afforded. In general the more complicated and serious the case, the more likely you are to need a senior advocate or QC.


At Roadtrafficlaw we find that there are many so called, junior counsel, who have a vast range of experience and ability and who can be depended upon to deal with serious and complex cases.


What Factors Matter When Choosing an Advocate?

(1) Experience goes a long way, so seek out an advocate who has a great deal of court experience. Remember that trials experience may have been garnered as a solicitor as some Advocates have several years experience running their own firm prior to training to become an Advocate. Just because someone is a junior Advocate does not mean that they are young and inexperienced.


(2) What do you have to lose? The more valuable “the prize” the more you should invest in your defence team as like in every other walk of life you tend to get what you pay for.


(3) Where in the country is the case likely to be heard? You may want someone local to that area as this can reduce costs but also because that sometimes means that the particular advocate knows the personalities involved in your prosecution


(4) Are you willing and able to travel to meet the Advocate at Edinburgh High court or the instructing solicitor’s offices?  Are you willing to consult online using an online conferencing tool?


(5) What level of experience does the Advocate have in your particular type of case? Does he/she have a track record that you can review? (Often Advocates produce a list of the more serious cases that they have been involved in)

How do I know how senior or experienced an advocate is?

An advocate’s seniority is based on two elements, the number of years of qualification or when he/she was “called to the bar”’ and whether he or she has taken silk (become a QC). Most people are aware of what a Queen’s Counsel (QC) is. It is a mark of status that an advocate has been recognised as being particularly experienced in their chosen practise area.

At Roadtrafficlaw we have a strong working relationship with several advocates however even we require to speak to the  advocate’s clerks to discuss the case prior to agreeing who should act in the case. We need to discuss issues such as complexity, urgency, client’s needs/ resources, likely time that the case will take.

We need to discuss the fees and whether they will be on a fixed fee, lump sum basis (Preferred by many clients) or an hourly basis and the amount of work required. Arrangements for case consultations, locus attendances, expert reports and case discussions.

Generally speaking, the earlier the advocate is involved in a case the better for all concerned.