Addition to the Schedules to the Licensed Access Recognition Regulations means that LI members may now directly instruct barristers

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On 26 September 2018, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) approved the Landscape Institute’s application for licensed access to barristers.

This means that LI members may now directly instruct barristers on behalf of themselves and their clients. As highly trained legal advocates, barristers represent and advise clients in high-profile legal issues. Access to barristers ordinarily comes through either a lawyer or an approved body.

According to the BSB:

Organisations or individuals that have an identifiable area of expertise or experience can apply to the Bar Standards Board to be licensed to instruct barristers directly. The license holder can instruct any member of the Bar for advice, and in some circumstances representation, on their own behalf or another’s behalf in the specialist area.

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

LI member Carly Tinkler, who has been acting as an expert witness for appeals and public inquiries for over thirty years, was instrumental in securing this important recognition.

‘Until last year, I didn’t realise that landscape practitioners couldn’t instruct barristers directly,’ Carly said. ‘How to do so was a bit of a mystery to me, and was usually dealt with by a solicitor. Indeed, there was always a sense of old-fashioned etiquette and secrecy about the whole process.

‘Then one of my clients decided they needed a barrister to assist with an appeal we were working on, and asked if I could help. That was when I discovered that while architects, surveyors and town planners could instruct barristers directly, landscape architects couldn’t.

‘I was able to instruct a barrister I’d worked with before, but only via what is called the “public access” route – which involved paying fees up-front, as well as rather a lot of admin! Afterwards, the barrister’s clerk suggested that I try to get landscape architects listed as “authorised licensed access clients”, which would mean applying to the Bar Standards Board. The LI agreed.

‘It was great to hear that our application was approved. With so many projects now being landscape-led, I’m sure that it won’t be long until other landscape professionals find themselves in charge of a barrister’s instruction. For me, it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience.’

For information on finding and instructing a barrister, see www.barcouncil.org.uk.

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