ESTIMATE OF FEES FOR DIRECT ACCESS – Private Law Children Act Proceedings

For the purposes of transparency, we enclose below a schedule of estimated fees for Direct Access clients, namely members of the public who instruct barristers directly and not via a solicitor or other authorised litigator.

It is important to understand that the fees contained in the table below are estimates only and should not be considered the exact amounts to be charged. There are numerous factors to be taken into consideration that determine a barrister’s charges, for example, the volume of case documentation to peruse, i.e. papers to be read and analysed, legal research that might be required, complexities of the case that may increase preparation time, the experience and seniority of the barrister instructed, novel issues, number of witnesses, the court jurisdiction, i.e. family court/high court, travel disbursements etc.

The actual amounts to be charged can only be determined upon the proper evaluation of the case by the practice manager. This process will involve you having to provide the practice manager with certain information and documentation before a decision as to whether to accept your case can be taken. Please note there is no obligation on Chambers or the barrister to accept a case via Direct Access. Barristers are entitled to decline to accept a case via Direct Access.

The following table applies specifically to cases concerning financial disputes in divorce. The fees shown are estimates only. Our actual charges could be higher.

Our most commonly used pricing models are fixed fees based on hourly rates so we will estimate in advance the likely hours of work needed to deliver the required service – such estimate will be made solely on the information provided by the client.

Direct Access – Private Law Children Act Proceedings

Our barristers can advise you if you and your former partner cannot agree on arrangements for your child during, or after, a divorce or separation. For example, you may not be able to agree on where your child lives, when your child spends time with each parent or what school they go to. You may also wish to stop your former partner from making a decision about a child’s upbringing.

If you cannot agree with your former partner, you can apply to a court for an order. You may need to attend several court hearings – our barristers can represent you in these hearings.


Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity of your case, how much you have agreed with your former partner and their approach. Written advice will be available within two to four weeks where possible. As a guide, court hearings for an order tend to take six to twelve months. This does not include possible appeals.


We charge fixed fees, which means that we will charge you a set amount of money for the work. Below we provide estimates based on the ranges of fixed fees for barristers at 4 Brick Court. VAT at the relevant rate (currently 20%) is payable on top of all fees estimated below.

Your fixed fees may be towards the higher end of the range if you need a more experienced barrister. If you have a particularly complex case, your fees may also be higher than the estimates below.

It is important to understand that you will have additional costs to pay if you issue court proceedings. These are separate fees you will need to pay directly to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.  For information about court fees please check the court and tribunal fees page on the website or simply click here. Family Court fees start on page 15.

Stage of case

Ranges of fixed fees (estimate)

Initial Conference                                                            £500 + VAT – £1,250 + VAT

Directions appointment                                                 £1,000 + VAT – £1,750 + VAT

First Hearing & Dispute Resolution Appointment      £1,250 + VAT – £2,250 + VAT

First day of final hearing (if no settlement was          £3,500 + VAT – £10,000 + VAT
reached in the FHDRA hearing)

Court appearances per day, after the first day          £1,500 + VAT – £2,000 + VAT
of the final hearing

All information is correct as of 1st January 2021, but fees are estimates only. For the most accurate fixed fee estimate, please contact the clerks on 020 7832 3200 or via email