Information sheet

What is Direct Access (or Public Access) to Barristers?
Direct Access is the process by which anyone seeking legal services can go directly to a barrister, the legal expert, instead of going to a solicitor. It would be similar to going directly to a surgeon instead of your GP. You are going to the specialist.

Who is Direct Access suitable for?
Any self-directed person who can make decisions and has the confidence and the capacity to administer their own case as a ‘Litigant in Person’ would be suitable for this process.

How can a Barrister help me?
Going to a Barrister at an early stage can help resolve a problem quickly and efficiently, often without going anywhere near the door of a court. However, if the dispute continues, a well-argued case and good cross-examination can make a huge difference to the final outcome.

Added value – it’s a no-brainer, really!

  • You pay less! Because Barristers cost less overall than solicitors.  When you pay a Barrister, you pay for their time and expertise – not the cost of running a solicitor’s office.
  • Highest level of legal advice and representation – Barristers can advise on the strengths and weaknesses of a potential claim, draft legal documents, write letters to the other side/person and represent clients before courts and tribunals.
  • Get it done quickly – Barristers have specialist legal knowledge, so they generally deal with the issue more quickly.
  • Know the cost in advance – fixed fees give peace of mind in knowing in advance how much the cost will be.

The Process

  • You will provide us with a short summary of the background of your matter, the main issues of dispute and the outcome that you seek. If further information or clarification is needed, we will tell you.  If necessary, we will liaise with a barrister to establish the work that might need to be undertaken on your behalf.  There is not normally a charge for you at this point; however, if you provide a lot of information, then a reading fee to assess the work to be done might apply. We would, however, confirm this.
  • As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will confirm the cost of any work to be undertaken by a barrister, which will include VAT.
  • If you would like to proceed, we will email you our Client engagement letter and terms, which will constitute a legal relationship between you and the barrister, for you to sign and return.

Charges and payment

  • Fees are charged on a fixed fee basis broadly based on the individual barrister’s hourly rate.
  • All charges are to be paid before any work is to be undertaken.
  • Payment of the full amount, including VAT, is required by bank transfer to our client account. We do not take card payments.