HOW WE CAN HELP
This page is designed for solicitors, organisations and individuals that require assistance about any legal matter in the very wide field of criminal law.
Should you or your clients have a problem in relation to criminal law, or require advice about the interpretation of any criminal statute, we can help.
Hopefully, as a solicitor engaged in the field of criminal law you will already be familiar with Black Chambers, and our clerks, and you will know that you can rely on them as your first port of call.
If, on the other hand, you have not previously had occasion to contact us, but find that you have a client, organisation or company, who requires advice about any aspect of criminal law, then our clerks will discuss with you the nature of the problem and indicate to you which of our highly skilled members would be best suited to your needs. In the event that the advice relates to a case which is unlikely to be eligible for legal aid, our clerks will be able to provide reliable information about the likely costs involved.
Individuals, other organisations and public bodies
In a number of situations Black Chambers can accept instructions directly from an individual or an organisation. This is called "Direct Access" and where it applies the individual or body concerned does not require to instruct a solicitor. There are four main categories in which direct access applies - legal professionals, other professionals, public authorities, and a wide range of other individuals and bodies.
If you would wish to instruct one of our members directly but are unclear whether you are eligible to do so then please do not hesitate to contact one of our clerks who will be able to assist. Full details regarding Direct Access can be found on the Faculty of Advocates website www.advocates.org.uk
Even if you discover that you are not eligible to engage one of our members directly that does not mean the end of your involvement with Black Chambers. In all criminal cases which are Indicted in the High Court of Justiciary, the Scottish Legal Aid Board automatically sanctions the employment of an Advocate. As such, if you, as the client, wish to be represented by one of our advocates then you should tell your solicitor. Similarly, if you have a case before the Court of Criminal Appeal you are also entitled to the services of an advocate. In cases where you have been granted Legal Aid there will be no cost to you at all. Of course not all cases are prosecuted in the High Court, and many serious cases are prosecuted in the Sheriff Court. Just because you are prosecuted in the Sheriff Court does not mean that you are not entitled to the services of an Advocate. In these circumstances you should ask your solicitor to consider whether or not your case is sufficiently serious or complex to warrant the benefit of expert advocacy from Black Chambers. The same applies even if you are simply seeking legal advice about a criminal matter. Your solicitor can then contact one of our clerks on your behalf.