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Direct Access

Direct Access Services

Instructing a direct access barrister can be quicker and better value for clients. 

What is Direct Access?

Direct access enables you to work directly with a barrister rather than going to a solicitor first. The barrister can continue to represent you throughout the case without the need of you instructing a solicitor unless it appears that a solicitor is needed in your case due to factors such as the complexity of issues.  
Working directly with a barrister at court tends to be appropriate where you are able to handle the administrative side of things yourself. You remain technically a litigant in person and are responsible for the day-to-day progress of your legal case whilst working with a barrister. The court papers and correspondence will be sent to you rather than to a legal advisor , however your barrister will still be able to advise you about the implications of the documents you receive, and guide you in your responses Direct access is a good way of concentrating your financial resources for a court hearing that you might otherwise be conducting yourself, giving you a better chance of getting the outcome you want.
What are the costs? 
We accept Public Access instructions on a privately funded basis only, and our policy is to take payment in advance of counsel undertaking any work. We accept funds by bank transfer or by credit/debit card. All fees stated are exclusive of VAT unless otherwise indicated.
The fees for Public Access work will vary depending on your budget and the nature of the matter which you need assistance with. The costs will also depend on 

  • the complexity of your case

  • the seniority of counsel

  • the amount of work involved and the urgency of the work

  • the type of hearing

  • the amount of papers you have, as this affects the reading time that is required before conference and the level of preparation that needs to be done for the hearing, as your barrister will need to be fully appraised of all the relevant facts and circumstances in order to present the case in the most effective way.

The quote provided will either be on an hourly rate or fixed fee (brief fee/ refresher) basis, subject to what is most appropriate for the case and cost effective. A reasonable quote will be provided taking into account all the circumstances of the case estimating preparation time and hearing time required for your case. The current rate of VAT will be added to all fees (unless exemptions apply).
We like to be as open and upfront about our prices as possible, our prices are agreed, and fees need to be received, before the work is done. You retain control of what you spend, and your barrister concentrates on getting the job done.
Our clerks will be able to discuss whether your case is suitable for public access and will be able to provide you with information on what specifically is required in order to prepare a meaningful estimate, after which a quote for the work will be provided the same day. Please note the provision of a quote is not an acceptance of instructions. An acceptance of instruction is fixed upon the signing of a public access agreement. Where we provide a fixed price for a piece of work we will seek not to exceed the amount we have quoted without prior client authority.
On the acceptance of instructions counsel will review the case to assess the amount of papers to be reviewed, the complexity of the case, the need for additional information or documents and the approach being taken by the other side. The return date for completed work will then be subject to the upcoming availability of counsel, the client(s), relevant third parties and where appropriate the next suitable date for any court hearings. Updates will be provided regarding expected timescales, including changes in circumstances which are outside of Chambers control.
What will the barrister do for me? 

Once you have selected the barrister you wish to represent you, our barristers will work directly with you and will be able to give you advice, represent you in court, negotiate on your behalf, and assist you with drafting documents and correspondence. You might instruct a barrister directly to:

  • Give you written advice about your case, after reading the documents

  • Give you advice in conference – that is, face-to-face, on the phone or by Skype, after reading the documents; or

  • Represent you either in court at a hearing, or at a settlement conference or a mediation.

By coming directly to a direct, or public access, barrister to help you with your case, you will get excellent advice and/or court representation at a fixed price that works for your personal circumstances. Our barristers can draw on their years of training and experience to find the right way to present your case to the judge to get you the best possible outcome.
Do I enter into a contract with the barrister?

Yes.  Once instructions have been received and a fee agreed you will receive a client care letter and terms of engagement which you must sign and return.  It is important that you fully read and understand these documents as they form a contract between you and the barrister.
Is my case suitable for Public Access?

Not all matters can be dealt with through the Public Access route and in such circumstances it may be more appropriate to refer you to a solicitor (for example, Public Access is not available if your matter is funded by Legal Aid). If we assess that your case is not suitable for Public Access we will inform you as soon as possible. 


Public Access Guidance


Direct Access Barristers are regulated by the Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board and have strict professional rules by which they abide, giving you the benefit of consumer protection and the backing of a professional conduct regime built up over centuries.  Only barristers who have achieved a specialist direct access qualification are allowed to work directly with clients. 


If you’d like more information about how a barrister could work with you directly, you can look at the public direct access page on the Bar Council’s website or the guidance notes prepared by Bar Standards Board, by clicking the links.

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