Public/Direct Access FAQ

Since 2004 both commercial organisations and members of the public seeking legal advice or representation can consult with a Barrister directly, without the need to first engage the services of a solicitor. The advantage is that for the right cases, you can save both time and considerable expense by going direct as you are only paying one lawyer instead of two.

Below are some FAQs. Simply click on the question to reveal the answer.

For more in-depth information about instructing a Barrister using Direct Access please visit our dedicated website here.

What is a Barrister?

Barristers are specialists in various areas of law with particular expertise in analysing the strength of a case, giving advice, drafting documents and presenting and arguing cases in court.

Which Barrister is right for me?

A number of factors will decide which barrister is right for your particular case. You may already have had a barrister recommended to you and know who you wish to instruct. If you don’t, our clerks can advise you based on your personal circumstances and taking into consideration factors such as

  • your budget
  • complexity and urgency of your case
  • specialist knowledge required
  • experience and
  • qualifications and availability

What can a Barrister do?

A barrister working on direct access cases can

  • provide you with expert advice, either in writing, by email or at a meeting
  • represent you in Court or at a Tribunal.
  • draft Court documents so that your case is presented clearly and effectively.
  • draft letters to the other party to the dispute or to the Court or Tribunal.
  • draft contracts, wills or other legal documents.
  • refer you to an expert to help you win your case and help you to instruct them correctly.

What work can’t a Barrister do?

The rules on Direct Access mean that a barrister is not allowed to do any of the following;

  • Engage in correspondence on a client’s behalf, although we are happy to draft letters on your behalf.
  • Take responsibility for the general management of a client’s case.
  • Make or arrange payment of court fees, expert’s fees or witnesses’ expenses.
  • Issue proceedings, file documents at court or serve documents on other parties.
  • Investigate a case or collect evidence.

Some of the above steps can be taken by the instructing indivuals or our Clerks team can recommend solicitors who can assist in this part of the process.

How much will it cost to instruct a Barrister?

Barrister’s fees are usually calculated according to their level of experience, the complexity of the case and the length of time involved in dealing with it. Once you have outlined the main acts of your case (ideally by email) our Clerks can give you an estimate of costs and once they have seen any papers relating to a case, agree a fixed fee for each piece of work that you ask them to undertake. Barrister’s fees need to be paid in advance.