Tips for Instructing Agents

For us to do the best possible job on your behalf it is important that you provide us with full and complete instructions. This will save you time and money, and we will be able to report to you more quickly.

Some of the best tips are as follows:

  1. Your instructions to us

    • Fill out the Court Instruction Sheet on our website.
    • Tell us if your client will be appearing and if so give us his/her telephone number.
    • Provide full details of the court, matter number, list number, starting time and so on.
    • Provide details of the other side – the name of the firm, the solicitor acting and a telephone number for them.
    • Understand what our fees are and how we work. Look at our website for this information.

  2. Documents to supply to us

  3. Many matters appear to be simple, or even by consent between the parties. Unfortunately solicitors often fail to take into account that the Presiding Officer also has to be satisfied. For that reason, the fuller the instructions you provide, the better the result you are going to get.

    • Tell us the type of matter – in family law is it property, children or both; in a civil matter is it call-over, adjournment application, Notice of Motion; in a criminal matter is it bail, adjournment, sentencing, etc.
    • Provide us with a copy of the initiating documents and any replies.
    • If there has been recent correspondence with the other side, or the prosecution in a criminal matter, then provide us with a copy of that so we understand where the matter is up to.
    • If there had been previous court orders made, particularly involving timetables, then you need to tell us.
    • If the matter is urgent and you require urgent confirmation by telephone, then tell us that and we will call you the moment we are out of court.
    • If the solicitor handling the matter is in another court then please provide us with his/her mobile number so that we can contact them direct.

    Feel free to call our office if you wish us to provide these instructions over the phone and Mr Greg Martin or another solicitor will obtain all the necessary details over the phone if you find that easier.

  4. Use our experience

    • Mr Greg Martin has over 33 years’ experience in various jurisdictions. Feel free to discuss the case with him and use him as a sounding board – he might be able to make some suggestions in relation to timetables, alternate orders, costs and so forth.
    • Use our other services as well – we offer inspection of documents, photocopying at reasonable rates, use of a conference room, and we’re happy to provide a paralegal to instruct a barrister or to attend a conference with a barrister if that would assist you.

  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

  6. Given Mr Martin’s experience, he strongly recommends that you fight for your client wherever necessary, but in smaller or interim matters it is often better to negotiate short minutes of order, consent orders or a timetable with the other side.

    Don’t fight about the things that you don’t need to fight about and always keep the big picture in mind.

    Take emotion out of it. Aristotle said, “Law is reason without passion.” It is important we remind our clients of that, as well as removing any anger or resentment before going to court. You don’t get a good result with anger or resentment.

    Remember, the fuller your instructions, the better the result, the quicker the matter will be disposed of, and the less costs to you and your client.

Martin Bullock Lawyers – For all your legal solutions

Call us on (02) 9687 9322