Public Access

PUBLIC ACCESS

 

Public Access means that anyone can go directly to a barrister, for advice and/or representation, without being reliant on a solicitor and without having to pay for a solicitor. Direct Access enables those who feel able to conduct a lot of the litigation themselves to have complete control of their case.

The barrister’s role remains essentially the same as when they are instructed by a solicitor or another intermediary. The barrister can advise you on your legal status or rights.  The barrister can draft documents for you and can represent you in court, tribunals or mediations.  The barrister can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend hearings where appropriate.

That said,  because the barrister’s role is unchanged (and there are limits on the types of work that a barrister can do) there are still some cases and situations in which you will need to instruct a solicitor as well as a barrister. However, for many cases the public access scheme allows you to go directly to the expert barrister for advice, representation and drafting.

If instructed by the Direct Access scheme, a barrister can:

• Provide legal advice and opinions
• Draft legal documents
• Assist you to draft letters and other documents during the case
• Represent you in court.

If you would like to instruct a barrister at QEB:

Please email the clerks at clerks@qeb.co.uk, telephone on 0207 797 7837 or complete and send the online enquiry form here

The clerks will assist you with choosing the right barrister for your case and they will also assist you with regard to the potential costs. Our fees are generally calculated by reference the barrister’s hourly rate. The calculation will reflect the complexity of the case, the volume of the papers, the preparation time and the time engaged either at court or in conference.

Once counsel has had the opportunity to consider your instruction a Client Care letter will be prepared: this sets out the barrister’s Terms & Conditions, the fee that will be charged and the timescale in which the work will be completed. VAT is calculated separately to the fee and this will be clearly identified to you.

In order to proceed, provided that you are happy with the proposals in the Client Care letter you need to sign the letter, return it to the barrister and make payment in accordance with the Terms that you have agreed.

Once signed the Client Care letter constitutes the agreement between you and the barrister for the legal services to be provided

There are a number of activities in which a barrister may not engage.  Some examples of these are:

  • Issuing proceedings
  • Contacting witnesses and collecting evidence
  • Instructing an expert witness
  • Corresponding with the other side (although assistance can be given with drafting letters)

If counsel considers that your matter is unsuitable for Direct Access then one of the clerks will assist you in identifying an appropriate solicitor.

Fees

As explained above, fees are calculated by reference to the barrister’s hourly rate which will reflect their seniority and the complexity of your case.

In a case where the value of the assets do not exceed £500,000 the approximate fee for a barrister of 7-10 years’ call will be in the range of:

Written Advice

£1,500 to £2,000

Drafting statement

£1,250 to £1,750

Advising in conference

£1,500 to £2,000

First appointment

£2,500 to £3,000

Financial Dispute Resolution

£3,500 to £4,500

This information is correct as at 1/12/20 and the above fees are indicative only.  All fees are agreed with you and paid for in advance of the work being done.

The Bar Council maintains a list of barristers that are trained for direct access and the link to their website is here

Our team of barristers are:

Link to the decision page of LEO.
Link to the BSB register of barristers.
Link to the Bar Council for Public Access qualified barristers.
BSB Guidance for Lay Clients.