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Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9612
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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I am at the end of a drawn out divorce and the final hearing

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I am at the end of a long drawn out divorce and the final hearing (FDA) has been appealed. I would need help drafting a reply (and because of the history there are 100s of pages of documents to read before answering) I would like to know whether to approach a barrister or solicitor.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Tunbirdge wells
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have been a litigant in person for the financial hearings. (Including the fdr) For the earlier childcare hearings I had an excellent solicitor but cannot afford the costs any longer
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The other side is represented by a firm of Top 100 solicitors pro bono

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist your with this today.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

How has the other side managed this?

are you asking if you have to have a solicitor or barrister?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
The other side paid for the solicitors and a barrister to represent them in the last hearing. So now they have offered to support pro bono in raising the appeal. For a written reply to their 'skeleton argument' for the appeal my question is can a solicitor draft this reply or it has to be a barrister. (In her case the barrister has drafted)

Reading hundreds of pages of documentation at GBP250 per hour is going to be extremely expensive.

I don’t know why the other side is represented pro bono.

If you can let us know what is been responded to lessons of your own reply, we can make some suggestions for you but if you need a complete redraft there is an extra fee for that.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I understand that would be pricey - which is why I wanted to avoid briefing a solicitor only to later find out a barrister is also needed. I essentially need to draft a 3-4 page respondents written statement confirming why the appeal should in my view be refused. Could you please guide if this can be performed by a solicitor or barrister?

If you can find a barrister to do it, then you can go directly to the barrister.

You would need to speak to the clerk in the Chambers (the clerk dishes out the works) and outline the problem and ask who would deal with it on a direct access (without a solicitor) basis.

Although you may think that by using a solicitor first you are double handling everything, putting the instruction to a barrister in the correct wording of format is an art in itself and if you are not used to doing it, you could well be spending far more time with the barrister at a much higher rate, then paying less time for the barrister but with the solicitors costs on top.

It’s always a good idea to start the documents yourself because the instruction to the barrister is probably going to contain an awful lot of what you need because the instruction to the barrister of the grounds for your appeal unless you are asking the barrister for an opinion as to whether it’s worth appealing.

If you could let us have the final order and the grounds for appeal, I may be able to answer you further even at this early stage

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
OK this makes a lot more sense - thank you. The final order is enclosed, the grounds for appeal and the initial reply to the grounds of appeal I sent by the original deadline. W asked for an extension and now submitted the skeleton attached - which is what I have 10 days to reply to. That's the part I need help with

I’m afraid this is way beyond the scope of my pay grade.  It’s not within my expertise either.  There is hours and hours of work in this.  I will opt out in case another expert can add anything but I think you are going to have to go straight to counsel

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24624
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Stuart J and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your situation but I will endeavour to help you today.

You need to go to a barrister direct, I recommend this Chambers: https://www.clerksroomdirect.com/help/direct-access-barrister?

I trust this assists

Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9612
Experience: Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
Jeremy Aldermartin and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you