Direct Access or Public Access enables members of the public to instruct barristers directly. Before Public Access Rules were introduced in July 2004 the only means to instruct a barrister was through solicitors or through Direct Professional Access. Now that has all changed and consumers have the option of instructing a barrister directly.
A key advantage of Direct Access is that it can be more cost effective than instructing a solicitor. There are a number of factors that will determine the level of costs such as the seniority of the barrister instructed, the complexity of the case, the length of any hearing and, possibly, the urgency of the matter.
Our Direct Access barristers can provide assistance providing legal advice and written opinions; draft documents for filing at court and service on the other side; advice on drafting letters or other documents and representing you at court on all family matters – finance, children and injunctions. You will be responsible for organising the case documents, writing letters and carrying out other tasks that a solicitor would otherwise do. If at any stage your barrister considers that you need additional assistance, possibly a solicitor, they will be able to guide and advise you about how to begin the process.
At Cardinal Chambers we pride ourselves on providing a high quality service to our clients. Furthermore, our clear and competitive charges for our services will always be agreed with you before any work is undertaken. There may be occasions when additional costs are incurred but these will always be discussed and agreed before such additional work is undertaken. This will enable you to monitor and control your legal costs throughout the legal process. Under Bar Council Regulations any fees must be paid in advance and fees are subject to VAT. Our clerks will be happy to talk to you about costs, contact us here.
Once it has been agreed that your case is suitable for Direct Access the barrister will send out the terms in which they intend to carry out the work before any work is started.
There is NO legal aid or public funding available for Direct Access work for a barrister. If you think you may be eligible for public funding please contact a solicitor. Barristers cannot carry out a means assessment on your behalf.
If you would like more information about how a barrister could work with you directly you can look at the Bar Council’s website https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/bar-council-services/for-the-public.html and the Bar Standard Board’s Handbook on current guidance Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public.html
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