Scheme allows barristers give legal advice to designated groups

Bar of Ireland says Covid-19 is causing widespread legal uncertainty

Normally clients get barristers’ services through their solicitors, but the direct access scheme allows organisations that register for it to circumvent this.

Normally clients get barristers’ services through their solicitors, but the direct access scheme allows organisations that register for it to circumvent this.

 

Barristers can give legal opinions direct to organisations including charities and State bodies, rather than through solicitors, to aid these groups in responding quickly to problems resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

“Designated organisations” can seek legal opinions from barristers through the Direct Professional Access Scheme, which dates back to 1990 and allows groups to seek advice on non-contentious issues from members of the bar.

In a statement the Bar of Ireland said that the coronavirus has caused widespread legal uncertainty.

“As many organisations find themselves needing to make speedy responses to the coronavirus crisis, the scheme aims to assist them in their evaluation of available options and to support them in their decision making,” it said.

Normally clients get barristers’ services through their solicitors, but the direct access scheme allows organisations that register for it to circumvent this.

Micheál P O’Higgins senior counsel, chairman of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, said that the body wanted to remind designated organisations that the scheme provided quick access to legal expertise and advice.

Organisations registered for the scheme include Oireachtas committees, education and training boards, the Courts Service, An Taisce, the departments of health, defence, and justice and equality, the Commission for Aviation Regulation, the Affordable Homes Partnership, credit unions and various professional bodies.

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