Members of the public can now obtain the services of a barrister directly without going through a solicitor. Several members of our family team are able to provide direct access services and accept instructions directly from members of the public. If you wish to use any of our barristers on a direct access basis, please contact our clerks through the contact page.
Frequently Asked Questions about Direct Access (taken from the Bar Council guidance for lay clients)
What is public access?
Members of the public may now go directly to a barrister without having to involve an instructing solicitor or other intermediary. In the past, it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor or other recognised third party through whom the barrister would be instructed. Although the barrister's role remains essentially the same, members of the public may instruct a barrister directly through the public access scheme.
What are the advantages of the public access scheme?
The main advantage of the public access scheme it that it could potentially save you money whilst giving you access to the bar, since you would be paying for a barrister only instead of a barrister and a solicitor. However, although the barrister would be able to deal with most aspects of the case, you could have to assist in some limited areas, generally with filing documents with the court.
Is my case suitable for direct access?
Public access is available in all types of work that barristers can do, except for work funded out of legal aid. It is most suitable for reasonably straightforward cases. If you are not sure whether your case would be suitable for public access, you should contact an appropriate barrister or their clerk to seek an initial view. If the barrister considers that your case would benefit from the involvement of a solicitor, he or she will tell you so. A barrister may choose whether or not to take a public access case.