Chartered engineers gain special access to legal service.
The Bar Council has approved an application by EC UK that will enable all Chartered Engineers to instruct barristers directly for advice on matters falling within their engineering discipline.
This is an extension of the existing recognition of Chartered Engineers in membership of IMechE, ICE, TEE, IChemE and IStructE.
Traditionally, barristers had to be instructed by a solicitor but about 10 years ago the Bar Council introduced a scheme whereby certain professional people such as accountants and engineers could instruct barristers directly without having to go through a solicitor.
A solicitor would still have to be involved in the case of, for example, court action, but a Chartered Engineer who simply wants advice on a contract, for example, can now instruct a barrister directly.
This saves time and money because often, in such cases, a specialist Chartered Engineer will know exactly what advice he needs and what information needs to be presented to the specialist barrister, and involving a solicitor in such cases can slow the process down and increase costs without "adding value".
* Further information is available from Engineering Council and from the Executive Secretary, Access to the Bar Committee, at the General Council of the Bar, 3 Bedford Row, London WClR 4DB.