Services » Direct Professional Access

Direct Professional Access

In advance of proceedings being commenced, it is possible for approved construction professionals (incl. members of SCSI, RIAI and Engineers Ireland) to contact me directly under this scheme for advice on matters arising. If the matter becomes contentious and it is necessary to engage the services of a solicitor, I have many recommendations of solicitors with expertise in construction disputes.

Direct Professional Access

Since May 1990 many bodies and their members have been granted direct professional access (DPA) to members of the Bar of Ireland in non-contentious matters.

This scheme can be of great use to construction professionals working in the industry in all of the areas of work described on this site. If there is any query as to the appropriateness of the enquiry I am happy to discuss this on the phone in advance of any submission.

The scheme does not extend to contentious matters (for example, court appearances) but only legal opinion. The scheme means members of approved professional bodies can instruct barristers directly without going through a solicitor for opinions. The bodies must formally apply for inclusion on the Register and satisfy The Bar of Ireland that:

  1. their members provide skilled and specialist services; and
  2. the body has a significant need for a barrister’s services.
  3. The body must also show that their affairs and conduct are regulated by a constitution that governs:
  • their standards
  • how people become members of their body; and
  • how the body handles discipline and unethical or dishonourable conduct.

A list of bodies accredited under the DPA scheme is available here on the Bar of Ireland website.

How much will it cost?

Fees will reflect the complexity of the problem, the financial implications of the transaction and the degree of expertise and experience necessary in providing an opinion.

How to instruct me directly

Members or officers of approved professional bodies should plan and give thought to their instructions and give them to me in writing. The quality of the advice available is very much dependent on the quality of the instructions I receive.

The case information you send should include details of:

  1. on whose behalf you are looking for an opinion;
  2. the factual background; and
  3. what you want to use the opinion or the advice for.

If you have researched the issue, you should include all information, case law and materials that you think are relevant.

If you need the work done by a deadline, this should be made clear in your written instructions or discussed with me.

Consultations are often useful to make clear the subtleties of the issues before I prepare my opinion.

Once you have paid any agreed fees for the opinion, the property of the opinion belongs to you. However, if you intend to publish the opinion or circulate it widely, you must get permission from me in advance.

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