Robin Somerville Direct Access Barrister Info
Robin Somerville Direct Access Barrister & Mediator in Barnet, Greater London: Review
If you've used our search facility before, you'll probably already have noticed that we do not cram our lists with thousands of practically identical legal practices. For each case type in your area we will try to have a couple of good regular high street firms, a barrister, a specialist and often an alternative type of help. For example, an accountant to help with tax matters.
Direct Access for the public to barristers has been a hugely welcome change in the legal system. Originally you would have to hire a solicitor and spend time and money informing them of your case. They would then contact a barrister to actually do the work and court representation. You essentially end up paying for two people to do the work of one and dragging the case out for longer. This is not always the case. For example a solicitor consulting with a barrister on your issue to improve it's chances pf success is a very different thing.
However there are many situations where going direct to a barrister yourself will definitely save you considerable time and cost
Straight off the bat we liked this opening statement on barrister Robin Somerville's website. It's quite far from the common marketing jargon you've probably seen on a dozen other law firm sites today. Most companies will more likely have some vague references to greatness, such as 'we are one of the leading award-winning law firms in the area!'. With of course no mention of what the awards were for (it could have been Best Logo 2002) or what area they are considering the 'leading' firm of (it could be their own very small village).
If you've read some of our other review articles on firms, this is usually the point where we direct you to various online resources to help research the company in more detail. Links to pages on official sites such as companies house or the practice/solicitor's local law society. However barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Council who unfortunately do not provide as much information compared to wonderful resources such as The Law Society of England & Wales. If you check the page on this barrister for example, it really only confirms the details already provided.
So what other ways can you evaluate a firm you're checking out? The review boards for Robin Somerville are quite sparse for comments by previous clients. We checked with Google, Yelp, Yell.com and Trustpilot as well as some other sites like ours that recommend or list barrister information. For any law office, a lack of public reviews should never be taken as a bad sign. Unlike purchasing a washing machine - a huge number of people do not feel comfortable discussing publicly how their divorce, bankruptcy, or criminal defence case went. Reviews of law firms are therefore always going to be less than other industries. (Except for when it comes to conveyancing matters where people are always looking for a place to vent about delays.) Of course, there are plenty of testimonials provided on Robin's website:
"He was contactable almost 24-7 not like my previous solicitor 9 to 5"
"I have trusted his advice on numerous occasions"
But as you (the public) indicated in our poll a few years back - many do not trust testimonials provided by companies on their websites. Not just for the legal industry either. So do the third party independent review boards match?
"Robin provided excellent & efficient service, and helped to achieve the desired result"
"Robin worked tirelessly throughout the day and night with both parties"
Absolutely. In fact, across every site we checked we did not find a single negative comment about Robin's work. He covers a very specialist range though, dealing with commercial and employment issues. When it comes to individuals rather than large 100+ staffed firms handling your case, we absolutely think the solicitor/barrister should stick to a more niche area of law. We've seen several consultants and sole practitioners advertising themselves as handling everything from Family Law, to Personal Injury, plus Immigration and more. The old 'Jack of all trades ...' maxim.
The fact Robin has decided to focus on an area he knows from personal experience as a three-time business owner, can only exponentially increase the experience and expertise he can bring to the table. Whether a general commercial law issue, shareholder dispute, insolvency, employment disagreement, or a regulatory/disciplinary matter. Certainly it's a very likely part of the reason he's so well regarded.
The Bar Standards Council do have a general search fuction for members of the public to locate a direct access barrister to help with their case. However, we couldn't get it to work. We tried entering all the information it asked for and then different bits and pieces. None of the inputs are marked as to whether they are *required information or not. We tried the following week and it still didn't work.
If you are thinking of using the Direct Access route, then make sure you enter that term as part of your phrase on search engines to avoid wasting time. Direct Access is something barristers have to apply for and be qualified to offer. Therefore if they don't use it, they won't state it on their site. When the new rules came in, they were not simply applied to all barristers. Some are not Direct Access qualified and whilst they will talk to you about your case - they will then tell you of local solicitors you need to hire first in order for them to then hire that barrister to deal with your case. Robin Somerville is definitely already qualified and he will be the person dealing with your matter from start to finish.
A quite note on navigation as the this is obviously the barrister's name as the branding and web address. The official site we link to above is www.robinsomerville.co.uk with www.robinsomerville.com not currently in use. Whilst there may be some common typos regarding the last name, the few we tried still brought up the correct website in search results. The website is https secure for entering your personal details in the contact form.
Also Robin does not handle any matters that are currently a major target for fraudsters such as conveyancing (where scammers convince people to play their deposits into false bank accounts). But you never know what might be thought of next so make sure you are on the correct website and never discuss bank details via email. A last word from Robin's site:
General Notes: Usually if Legal Aid is possible we've mentioned it above, but you can always ask. We haven't looked in depth at their recruitment program so are unaware of any job vacancies available. For a career with Robin Somerville Direct Access Barrister it's best to visit the website (www.robinsomerville.co.uk), check opening hours, and find the correct phone/email contact details. Simply emailing a CV to reception looks lazy. Each law firm's Law Society and/or SRA number should be on their site, usually at the bottom of each page.
This Robin Somerville Direct Access Barrister article is rated
4.5 / 5 based on 14 reviews. †
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