What is the public access scheme?

In most cases, members of the public may directly instruct a barrister without the need to instruct a solicitor or other intermediary first.

In addition to the usual advocacy work of a barrister and, depending on the nature of your case, your public access barrister will also advise as to the merits of your case, draft documents on your behalf and suggest what evidence you might obtain to strengthen your case.

Under the public access scheme, you are responsible for the preparatory work that a solicitor would normally do, such as gathering evidence and issuing court documents. If you need assistance with this preparatory work then the public access scheme is likely not appropriate for you and you would be better served by instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf who will then instruct a barrister. Further information on the public access scheme can be found here.

What are the benefits?

All our barristers are authorised to carry out public access work. In the right case, instructing us directly could save considerable time and money. If you instruct us directly, we can give you advice, draft documents on your behalf and represent you in court. The scheme is not only open to individuals and we welcome inquiries from companies and other organisations.

The Practice Areas section lists the areas in which we work and how we can help you.

How much will it cost?

Fees are dependent on the type and complexity of the case, the amount of work that needs to be done on your case, and the seniority of the barrister you wish to instruct. Generally, we charge an hourly rate, varying from £150 upwards.

There may be additional costs such as application and court fees. We also charge a fee of £25 for administrative services provided, including photocopying and printing up to 100 pages (black and white only). We charge a further fee of £0.10p for each additional page.

Fees are normally payable in advance. Note that VAT may be added to fees, depending on whether the barrister you have instructed is VAT registered.

How long will it take?

There are no standard timescales, it will depend on your case. For example, financial remedy matters usually require multiple hearings. With regard to individual hearings, lengths may vary. Case management or directions hearings are generally shorter and usually require a few hours of preparation and attendance at court.  Final or substantive hearings generally run longer and require lengthy preparation. 

To instruct one of our public access barristers, please contact our clerks.

Once instructions are accepted, you will be provided a client care letter setting out the estimated work involved, the relevant fees, and anticipated timescales of any key stages of work.