RDC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating forty five years in legal services

 

 

Please note - I have now joined the

Public Defender Service Advocacy Unit

GUIDE FOR SOLICITORS

My name is Robin Driscoll and I am the Senior Clerk to the PDS Advocacy Unit.

Please contact me for detailed information regarding our advocates and the services we provide.
ddi: 020-3334-4253
email: pdsclerks@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk

What is the Public Defender Service?
The Public Defender Service (PDS) was established in 2001 to provide criminal defence representation from offices in Cardiff, Cheltenham, Darlington, Pontypridd and Swansea.

In 2014, our Advocacy Unit was set up to provide additional representation in serious and complex cases. We are based in London but cover the whole of England and Wales.

Which of my clients can use the PDS Advocacy Unit?
Any client facing criminal charges, who is eligible for legal aid, can use the PDS Advocacy Unit.

How does the PDS Advocacy Unit work?
We operate in a similar way to barristers chambers. If you decide to instruct the PDS Advocacy Unit we would only undertake advocacy work in your client's case. You would still retain responsibility for the litigation work involved and be able to bill your work under the Legal Aid Agency's Litigators' Graduated Fee Scheme.

Why should I instruct the PDS Advocacy Unit?
We have a team of 25 experienced barristers and Higher Courts Advocates, including seven Queen's Counsel. Our various areas of specialism range from from serious fraud Very High Cost Cases to murder, firearms and serious sexual offences as well as inquests, tribunals and enquiries. Therefore, we are able to deliver a high quality service and with consistency of representation.

We are able to cover all court centres in England and Wales from the Magistrates' Court to the Supreme Court.

Is the PDS Advocacy Unit independent from the government?
Yes. All of our advocates are regulated by the Bar Standards Board or the Solicitors Regulation Authority and offer completely independent and impartial advice.

Robin Driscoll - Senior Clerk PDS Advocacy Unit
ddi: 020-3334-4253