Public Access and Direct Access
How can we help?
Recent changes in the law mean that members of the public, commercial organisations and non commercial organisations can now instruct a barrister directly without the need to go through a solicitor or intermediary.
This procedure is known as ‘public access’ and has helped saved companies and individuals significant amounts of time and money.
Contact our dedicated team waiting for your call or complete this simple enquiry form and wait for us to call you back
Frequently asked questions:
What are the advantages?
- Cost – You can save substantial cost by going to a barrister direct and doing some of the work yourself. Solicitors often seek advise from barristers for their specialist knowledge and incisive opinions, now you can come direct and save money without having to instruct a solicitor first.
- Expertise – Our barristers are often instructed for their expert opinions, many of our practitioners are recognised as leaders in their field in the leading legal directories.
- Clarity – Fees can be agreed in advance, so there are no hidden costs. We operate a fixed fee service so you know exactly what work you are paying for, whether it's for a piece of advice or for the whole case.
- Speed – Barristers are experts in their areas and get to the heart of the problem, quickly and efficiently.
- Support – All our barristers are supported by our experienced clerking team who will ensure your case is matched with the right barrister.
Do I need a solicitor or a barrister?
In a nutshell both solicitors and barristers are types of lawyer.
Historically, both roles were quite distinct, however recent changes in the law have enabled barristers to enjoy a wider role and generally speaking, the public have benefited from these changes.
A barrister is like a consultant – he or she specialises in a few areas of the law, with focus, expertise and experience.
In the past, solicitors would give advice to their clients and then prepare their cases for litigation or trial. In contrast the principle role of barristers had previously been to represent their clients effectively in court with the intention of achieving the most favourable outcomes.
Time has moved on and now an increasing number of barristers have extended their role and happily engage in giving legal advice in addition to the representations that they make in court. Unbeknown to many, using a barrister directly will often be very much cheaper than going to a solicitor first. This is because you can do some of the preparation for trial yourself and take expert advice as and when you need it.
How do I know if my case is suitable for direct access?
Direct Access (also known as Public Access) allows our barristers to undertake the following work:
- represent you in court or in tribunal or other disciplinary hearings
- provide you with expert legal advice
- assist you to draft correspondence
- help to draft statements from litigants and witnesses
- negotiate settlement terms and execute them (eg settlement agreements)
- advise you on suitable experts and draft instructions to expert witnesses
- offer you advice on the next steps to be taken in proceedings
draft formal documents – like a will
How do I instruct a barrister and how do I know if they’re right for my case?
All our barristers’ administrative functions are managed by our experienced and specially trained clerking team. Our clerks our known for providing a consistently high service and are sensitive to your needs. Once you’ve filled out our contact form with the details of your case, a member of our clerking team will contact you within one working day, usually sooner, in order to match the right barrister to your case. Alternatively please dial 020 7353 0711 or 01962 868161 to speak to a member of the team. For more information on the team please click here.
What if my case is not suitable for direct access?
Each of our barristers must strictly adhere to the Bar Code of Conduct and as such, if in reviewing your case the barrister considers that a solicitor should be instructed in your own interests or for another professional reason, the barrister will advise you of this and of the next steps they suggest for you. Should this situation arise, the barrister will advise you of it as soon as possible.
This may also be the case in the event that your case is be suitable for public funding.
For more information about the Public Access Scheme, please visit the Bar Council's website.
Please note that our clerks cannot give legal advice and that we do not accept liability for your case until a Public Access Agreement has been signed by you and your barrister.