Direct Access

Instruct Us

We welcome instructions from from organisations, businesses and members of the public entitled to instruct the Bar under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

Whether you are a individual, company, partnership, LLP, unincorporated association, local authority or government department, our Direct Access barristers can accept instructions from you to represent, advise and assist, whatever the area of law that concerns you.

The Direct Access Scheme (sometimes known as the Public Access Scheme) permits the instruction of a barrister directly, there is no longer a requirement that a barrister must be instructed by a solicitor.

Depending on your circumstances we can help you find the right barrister at a price to suit your budget and level of enquiry.

How do I instruct a barrister?

Instructing a barrister direct is simple and easy. Fill in the contact form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

What are the advantages of instructing a barrister direct? 

Cost and efficiency. We can advise, draft documents and represent you in court, tribunals or mediations. Barristers can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend without prejudice or similar meetings.

Is my case suitable for direct access? 

If we assess that your case is not suitable for public access we will inform you as quickly as possible and if required we can help you find a suitable solicitor.

What will my role be if the case is direct access?

You will be treated by the court as a Litigant in Person even when instructing a barrister direct so you will carry out certain tasks which a solicitor would otherwise do. This would include preparing the papers that Counsel will need. You will also have to prepare instructions which are a synopsis of your case, a chronology or timeline of events and exactly what you are asking the barrister to do. Thereafter you would be told exactly what you have to do and be given draft letters and advice by your barrister.

How much will it cost?

When undertaking work directly for lay clients we will quote fees in advance. Charges will vary from £100 to £600 (plus VAT) per hour.  Depending on the nature of the task, the fee will be either a fixed fee for specified work, or an hourly rate. We think that clients will find the overall cost of using our barristers’ direct very competitive, particularly as any unnecessary duplication of fees is eliminated.

Do I enter into a contract with the barrister?

Yes.  Once fees have been agreed you will receive a contract signed by Counsel which will be in the form of a Client Care Letter. You will be required to sign to confirm agreement to the terms. It is important that you read this contract carefully.

When do I have to pay the barrister?

For every item of work or attendance at a hearing, the fees are paid in advance in line with the client care letter.

The Bar Standards Board publishes guidance for lay clients about how Direct Access Scheme/Public Access Scheme operates. To read that guidance, click here.