Public Access

Save time and money by instructing a barrister without first requiring a solicitor

What is public access?

You can now use one of our barristers for any type of case without having to first see a solicitor.  In the past, barristers could only be instructed by going through a solicitor or other third party, but recent changes in the law mean that this is no longer the case.

What are the benefits of public access?

Going straight to a barrister could save you a lot of money, as you would only need to pay for a barrister’s services instead of a barrister and a solicitor.  You can also get advice from an expert barrister directly, potentially saving you time as well as money, which is particularly important if your case is urgent.

What can a public access barrister do for me?

Our public access barristers can advise you, in a face-to-face meeting, by telephone or in writing, about your case or your legal rights.  They can also draft documents for you, such as letters, court forms or other legal documents, and of course they can represent you in court or in any other tribunal, disciplinary hearing or arbitration/mediation appointment.

Is there anything they can’t do for me?

Our barristers do not conduct litigation.  That means you would need to gather evidence and other documents yourself, and you would need to file documents at court and sign letters in your own name.  Our barristers can of course advise you on these steps, and draft documents for you to sign and lodge with the court.  There may be cases where you would need to employ a solicitor to carry out these tasks for you – your barrister will let you know if this applies to your case.

How much will it cost?

Our barristers charge on the basis of their experience, how complex your case is, and how long it is likely to take to deal with it.  There are no hidden charges – we can provide a fixed fee, and all charges must be agreed with you before any work is done, and will be recorded in writing.  We have barristers available at all levels of experience, so you can be confident that we can find someone suitable to deal with your case, at an acceptable cost.

How do I instruct a barrister?

A list of our barristers who carry out public access work can be found here, or by clicking on "Public Access Members" towards the top right of this page.  Contact one of our friendly clerks in the first instance, by filling in the form below or by e-mail or telephone using the details at the top of this page.  Please provide as much information about your case as possible, including any upcoming court dates or deadlines that you know of, especially if there is not much time left before those dates.  One of our team will then be in touch with you to discuss the next steps in your case before passing it on to one of our barristers.

Where can I get more information about public access?

We have only provided a summary here of the public access scheme – the Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers in the UK, has published some very useful guidance online which explains fully how the public access scheme works and shows how members of the public can use it to instruct barristers directly.  Click here to read it in full.  Also, please feel free to contact any of our clerks using the contact details at the top of this page if you want to know any more about the public access scheme or instructing one of our barristers.

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