Public Access

You may now instruct a barrister directly. The Public Access Rules were introduced in 2004. Before then it was not possible for members of the public to engage a barrister without first instructing a solicitor. In certain circumstances it is now possible for barristers to accept work directly from members of the public, organisations and commercial companies without incurring the additional expense of a solicitor.

Using a barrister direct can help you to save a significant amount of money overall because you are not also paying fees to a solicitor, you can go to a specialist barrister of your choice, and correspondence and communications are faster because you are dealing with the barrister directly.

Click on a specialist area below for a list of barristers practising in that field:

Full details of the Bar Council’s public access scheme can be found on their website at: www.barcouncil.org.uk. Not all cases will be suitable, but the site sets out details of the sort of work a barrister is permitted to conduct without a solicitor being involved.

In brief, a barrister can:

  • Advise you on the merits of your case and the way in which it is likely to proceed;
  • Appear on your behalf to argue your case at court;
  • Advise you on the need for expert evidence and on the choice of a suitable expert;
  • Correspond on your behalf;
  • Draft your witness statement, if needed, based on what you tell them. A barrister may also be able to help finalise a witness statement from another person based on the information that person has provided to you.

A barrister cannot:

  • No barrister at Albion Chambers is authorised to conduct litigation;
  • A barrister cannot file proceedings on your behalf, file other applications or take other formal steps in court or other proceedings;
  • A barrister is not allowed to instruct an expert on your behalf;
  • A barrister is not allowed to take responsibility for the handling of clients' affairs, or to handle clients' money.

Because we have a large team of specialist barristers at Albion Chambers we can offer you a wide range of experience to suit each individual case. The seniority of the barrister will affect the cost to you. In setting fees we will also take in to account the complexity of your case, the urgency of the work and the amount of work involved.

We have banded our hourly rates in accordance with the years of call of the barrister instructed:

Queen’s Counsel £300 – 400
11 years and over £180 – 250
6 – 10 years £150
1 – 5 years £125

All fees must be paid before the barrister is permitted to carry out the work.

All barristers who accept work under the public access scheme in Albion Chambers are licensed to do so by the Bar Council and operate under the Code of Conduct for Barristers in England and Wales, and under the Public Access Rules.

Should you be interested in finding out more about instructing a barrister at Albion Chambers under the public access scheme, then please telephone us on 0117 927 2144 and ask to speak to one of the clerks. You will be asked to complete a short online form, so the barrister can assess whether your case is suitable to be dealt with under public access. If so, we can arrange a short meeting of approximately 30 minutes in Chambers or, in special circumstances, elsewhere, at no charge to consider the position in more detail. If the case can be progressed on that basis, you will be offered the opportunity to enter into an agreement with the barrister and the case can be taken forward.

Eligibility for Legal Aid

You may be eligible for public funding (also known as ‘legal aid’). You can check this on the Legal Aid Eligibility Calculator.  A barrister is not allowed to do legal aid work under the Public Access scheme, neither are they able to carry out any means testing for you, however you can find more information about this at www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid.

Even if you are eligible for legal aid, you may prefer to instruct a barrister directly, on a privately-funded basis. If you decide to proceed on this basis your barrister will fully explain to you the implications of instructing them privately, and the likely costs you will incur. In these circumstances your barrister will ask you to sign a certificate to confirm that you wish to proceed with your case on a privately-funded basis, and that you fully understand the implications of your decision.