Direct Access Portal is a joint effort
from the Bar Council and barristers Pru Beever and Mike Whyatt. The site
is free for consumers to use and there is no log-in or subscription involved. The advanced search
facility includes 77 specalisms as well as the broad categories of civil, criminal, family and international. See the article on this by Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of the Bar Council,
in the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, November/December 2015,
Public Access Bar Association (PABA) represents the interests of the
several hundred English and Welsh Barristers who offer direct legal services to the public and the business community in
cases where the use of a Solicitor is no longer necessary. Under the Bar scheme launched in 2004, members of the public
and businesses may instruct Barristers directly and without the intervention of a solicitor.
The Barristers Register
is provided by the Bar Standards Board.
As it says on the site "The Register is an online database which displays details of all barristers who are authorised
to practise in England and Wales and who have a current practising certificate. The register will display the dates for
which a barrister's practising certificate is valid. It includes information about barristers' practising status,
their practising address, the reserved legal activities they are authorised to undertake and whether they have been
the subject of any disciplinary findings which are published on our website in accordance with our current policy.
Practical guidance and information is provided about Public Access work."
Note that this register is not just a Public Access Bar register, it is a register of all barristers.
Clerksroom was formed in 2001 as one of the first
chambers to set up as a "virtual chambers" with most barristers working
remotely and a very active and innovative use of IT.
Staff work from a purpose built 6,000 sq ft HQ in Taunton managing over 4,000 requests for
barristers' help every month and with services available 24/7.
Mediation clerks have developed the service into one of the largest in the UK and they
are probably the largest provider of public access barristers through the Clerksroom Direct portal.
(continue with next entry).
The client registers on the system
(no fee is needed at that point) and then has
oportunities to select a barrister by legal area, level of experience and fee offered.
In most cases, a free half hour consultation is also available.
BSB Public Access rules have been automated
to include online client ID checks through to a secure payment system.
Overall, the sustem provides a secure online enquiry, quote, tender, case management,
document management and payment system for clients and barristers to engage with each other.
A key point for barristers is that they do not have to deal with administrative issues
like money laundering regulations, POCA rules, quoting fees, taking pre-payment and
client care obligations.
Clerksroom Direct website offers over 1,000 Barristers from more than 180 Barristers Chambers
that are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
Barristers do not pay any fees to promote themselves through the Clerksroom Direct portal.
Obtaining a fee quote from a Barrister is completely free as the user only pays for the service
if they proceed to instruct the Barrister directly.
Havers find-a-barrister search engine
provides a searching process to more than 11,000 barristers by their expertise/town/junior or QC or simply
by their name or set of Chambers. The search engine is free to use.
Barristers can also be searched under a category of "Accepts Public Access work".
Havers work in collaboration with most major publishers to provide links from their directory to case reports and other
information on the publishers' web sites.
Barristers have to pay a subscription for this enhanced facility but their basic contact details are provided for free.
myBarrister is a new online directory that enables
people and businesses to locate the specialised skills they need, helping them resolve
legal issues, defend against prosecution, take legal action or simply providing specialist legal
advice on a particular situation.
myBarrister is the idea of, and is funded by, Ronald DeKoven of DeKoven Chambers, Lincoln's Inn.
Here is how it works (as described on the site):
1.Use the search function to select a nearby barrister who's a specialist in your problem.
2.Use your first free phone call to talk through your problem.
3.Agree a price and commission your barrister to provide a legal opinion for you.
4.They will ask you a lot of questions about your situation and will then review the law and write up their opinion.
5.You meet with your barrister or speak on the phone to go through the opinion and to agree your next steps.
Chambers providing Public Access
Barristers Direct is a group within
4 King's Bench Walk which focuses on the work which barristers can do without instructing a solicitor.
Head of Chambers Timothy Raggatt QC says that Members of his Chambers have been amongst the first at the
Bar to train for and to accept public access instructions. There is extensive information about
Direct Access (who work can be taken on, and what cannot) on the site.
Becket Chambers is a common law Barristers
set covering courts throughout Kent, Sussex and the South East.
Primarily based in Canterbury, Chambers has annexes in Dartford, Eastbourne, Kings Hill and Tunbridge Wells.
Chambers specialises in all types of Family and Civil law, including Property, Wills & Probate,
Landlord & Tenant, and Local Authority work.
Becket Chambers receives instructions both from the legal profession, and also provides
Direct Access to Barristers from members of the public.
Bright Line Law is a "barrister law firm" led by
Jonathan Fisher QC, one of the UK's leading barristers in white collar crime cases (Financial Crime,
Financial Services, Fraud, Proceeds of Crime, Tax issues).
They provide specialist advisory, advocacy, litigation, policy and strategic services.
Bright Line Law's legal services are available on a Public Access basis and the business is authorised
by the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation on behalf of clients.
12CP Barristers is part of
12 College Place Chambers, Southampton, the largest independent
set in Central Southern England. Now, under
the new designation, many of the barristers are also able to accept Direct Access instructions.
They can advise on Civil Law,
Criminal Law, Employment Law, Family Law and Planning Law.
Dartford Chambers was established in response to the
reductions in legal aid for Family Law. They offer a cost-effective alternative for those
who can no longer obtain legal aid but who still need help from a specialist family lawyer.
They provide clerking and administrative services to fit barristers' needs, for example,
enabling barristers to find a more flexible work/life balance working from home, without the overheads of
large London sets. They welcome applications from practitioners specialising in ancillary/financial
relief, contact, residence, care proceedings, adoption or special guardianship, and Court of Protection matters.
Foregate Chambers (Barrister Clerking)
provides Counsel for Courts and Tribunals countrywide as their
Barristers are based throughout the UK. They cover all areas of law and also undertake Opinions,
Advices and Specialised drafting (eg, Ts & Cs, Joint Venture and Finance).
Most Counsel accept instructions via Public Access and some are trained Mediators.
They offer a friendly, reliable, efficient and cost-effective service in advocacy, negotiation and client care for both
professional and lay clients.
Kings View chambers was founded in 2014 by
Stephen McCaffrey and Catherine Stock, both previously Deputy Heads of other sets.
They aim to maintain their commitment to legal aid and other traditional
sources of work whilst embracing opportunities to work directly with the public through direct public access.
1 Gray's Inn Square Chambers is one of the oldest and largest sets at the Bar.
They cover Commercial & Civil, Criminal, Employment, Family Law, Immigration, Inquest & Public Inquiries
and Regulatory work. Their barristers undertake Direct Access work across all practice areas saving the general
public and other clients time, effort and cost. There is extensive information on
Direct Access and how it works,
including a section of Frequently Asked Questions and how to instruct a particular barrister.
1 Inner Temple Lane is a leading criminal and
regulatory law chambers.
There are 36 members offering advice and advocacy predominately in all aspects and
levels of crime, but also family law, employment and civil litigation.
Members are instructed in work across the country. They have a
growing Public Access team able to receive instructions directly from
clients in all types of work.
lawhow is a group of barristers from Cobden House Chambers
in Manchester. They specialise in family work, including children cases, divorce, financial and
cohabitee cases. They are able to provide advice and advocacy nationwide. There are full details
of the participating barristers on the site.
New Court Chambers is a specialist family chambers with a long
standing and well established reputation in acting for local authorities, parents, other family members and children in all aspects of
public law childcare work.
With 19 members on its Public Access Panel it offers a comprehensive expertise in matrimonial
finance, children and court of protection work.
New Walk Chambers is a well established set of Barristers' Chambers
A large part of their work is now
Direct Public Access.
They have traditional and well supported areas of practice in all centres throughout the Circuit.
Individual members specialise in commercial and chancery, criminal law, employment and discrimination law,
family law both private and public, personal injury and clinical negligence, immigration, drink driving and speeding offences,
licensing, Courts Martial and general common law.
NoVate Direct Legal Solutions is a not for profit referral
company which refers cases to specialist lawyers at no cost to the client. The company is supported by
No5 Chambers, one of the largest sets of barristers chambers in the UK housing over 240 specialist barristers
including 29 Queen’s Counsel. Your case will be reviewed by a barrister and where appropriate an
initial conference of 30 minutes will be provided free of charge. If the case requires a solicitor,
they can recommend a legal expert to suit your needs and budget, whether you are an
individual or a company.
Park Chambers, based in Weybridge, Surrey,
are Erich Suter’s specialist employment law and mediation chambers. As well as accepting instructions through
solicitors in the normal way, they accept Direct Public Access instructions from companies and the public
in all areas of employment law including unfair dismissal, equal pay, all types of discrimination,
transfer of undertakings, contract cases and redundancies as well as accepting Public Access instructions
for commercial, employment and workplace mediations.
Richmond Chambers Immigration Barristers
provide expert legal advice and representation in relation to all aspects of
UK immigration law. Winner of several awards, including the 'Best Immigration Set of the Year - UK'
award at the Global Mobility and Immigration Awards 2014, they are a leading provider of tailored
immigration law solutions to both individuals and businesses, within the UK and overseas.
They also provide a
Mandarin website for Chinese
clients, hosted in Hong Kong in order to ensure fast load times for local people.
The site, which has been running for several years, is designed for citizens of China and
Hong Kong who may be looking to relocate to the UK under the Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa categories. It explains the basic requirements for
these visas and how they can lead to British citizenship. There are brochures that can be downloaded and
videos to explain the processes involved. The site also features links to various Chinese social media channels.
Queen Square Chambers welcomes the opportunity
to work directly with the public in many areas of law. Barristers can assist with Employment, Family, Property and Contract matters as well as
with Motoring and Health & Safety offences. The clerks can provide more information.
St Pauls Chambers
has been offering their services under the Public Access Scheme for 10 years.
With 28 of its members and 3 of its clerks accredited to handle Public Access clients,
they aim to provide alternative solutions to businesses and individuals seeking to resolve legal issues.
The clerks who form the first point of contact are adept at knowing what will serve to be in the
best interests of the client. If the client is better suited to find a more local representative
or indeed needs guidance on firms of solicitors, the clerks will provide this advice and spend time
discussing these options with the client.
For those cases that are deemed suitable under the Public Access Scheme,
clients can be assured of first class service and support.
CityGate Chambers Ltd is a BSB regulated entity which is
owned and managed by Stephen Hines, who was called to the Bar in 2014 having qualified as a solicitor in 2009.
The firm provides traditional litigation and advocacy services to insurers, organisations and individuals to help
them resolve a claim as efficiently as possible. This includes advocacy, drafting and advising (in person and by telephone).
Hames Private Clients Ltd is a legal services firm
set up by barrister Tim Wallis who is qualified to offer Direct Access legal services.
The firm offers a competitive but still bespoke service with clarity from
the outset as to costs and fixed fees wherever possible.
Riverview Barristers consists of 44 barristers including some of
the UK's leading QCs, who provide a Barrister-led service on a fixed fee basis under the Riverview Law brand, working alongside
They are based in London and offer business law representation and advice with some additional high end consumer legal
services such as divorce. Riverview Law also provides a variety of fixed price annual legal packages for companies
as well as legal outsourcing services for major corporations.
An extra feature of Riverview Law is free access to an online Legal Library with
over 650 plain English advice pages and over 450 documents, letters and templates.
Stobart Barristers is a commercial organisation (part of the Stobart Group)
designed to help individuals and businesses to find the right Public Access barrister. They have a national panel of barristers and QCs and they direct the
case to a barrister with the appropriate specialisation. It says, on the part of the site designed for personal legal problems
"You pay a fixed fee up front (which could be just a few hundred pounds) and receive a written, expert barrister’s opinion on
the merits of your case and how you should proceed within 7 days. If you decide to carry on with your case, your barrister will
continue to work with you direct, advising on procedures and paperwork and appearing for you in court, as usual. Again, the
cost of this will be fixed before you start. While the case is continuing, Stobart Barristers’ support services deal with court
paperwork and correspondence for you and for your barrister." They also deal with corporate legal matters.
Religion Law is a major resource in its own right,
coming from Neil Addison. If you take the
Services link, you will see that
he provides direct public access advice and drafting
services to members of the public or businesses involved in Harassment,
Bullying or Discrimination cases as well as Mediation and Arbitration.
Tahir Ashraf is a London and Manchester based barrister.
He advises businesses and individuals across the UK in Business Chancery Commercial and Insolvency Law disputes.
He practices from barristers chambers 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, London and is also available as a Direct Access Barrister.
Jeremy Barnett of St Pauls Chambers, is experienced
in managing cases under the Public Access Scheme, focussing mainly on Regulatory and Professional
Discipline. With a growing number of investigations by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA),
Jeremy has carved a reputation for successfully defending and advising solicitors.
He is also well known for defending clients against the Trading Standards Authority and the
Health and Safety Executive. There is a blog on the site providing up to date insights into emerging trends
across the various sectors.
Marc Beaumont, of Windsor Chambers, offers Barrister services
in advocacy and dispute resolution in the High Court, the County Courts and superior Appellate Courts,
(the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council), before professional disciplinary tribunals and in
Arbitration and Mediation. Marc is also an experienced, accredited Mediator.
In the USA, as from 1st February 2013 , Marc will offer a service as a foreign legal consultant at the New York Bar,
specialising in English commercial law, Arbitration and Mediation. The site offers a useful selection of legal resources
covering courts and resources inthe UK, the USA, Europe and elsewhere.
Ros Scott Bell, of Trinity Chambers, is a Specialist Regulatory
barrister regularly prosecuting and defending cases involving Health and Safety, Professional Discipline/Misconduct/Fitness
to Practise, Trading Standards and Environmental Protection. Ros has a background in criminal law and is a Grade 4
CPS Prosecutor. She is a Legal Assessor to the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service. Ros is also a List B Advocate
in Health and Safety and Environmental Law, frequently prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive,
the Environment Agency and Local Authorities.
Ashley James Barnes specialises in private client road
traffic law, receiving instructions to conduct matters in Magistrates’ and Crown Courts nationwide.
Ashley can assist with speeding offences, alcohol offences, insurance offences,
mobile phone use, a traffic light offence, failing to stop, failing to provide information, careless driving or
any other motoring law offence.
is a first class honours graduate and fully qualified UK Barrister practising from Clerksroom Chambers.
He provides advice and advocacy services in Immigration matters and also other areas of law.
He operates UK Wide subject to terms.
Rebecca Fairbairn, of One Paper Buildings, is a Criminal &
Family Law Barrister in London. Her record in Family cases covers the entire practice area from the Family
Proceedings Court to the High Court and has included representing parties in situations of family breakdown,
matters under the Children Act and dealing with international child abduction. Her experience in Criminal law
covers both prosecution and defence work and includes cases of murder, robbery, drugs importation and fraud.
Quentin Hunt is a skilled, experienced and tenacious criminal defence barrister.
He is known as a road traffic and fraud crime legal expert possessing fearless legal expertise and
loophole mastery. He operates from 2 Bedford Row Chambers.
See his Newsletter feature - Private prosecution can be a viable alternative
Cyrus Katrak is specialist regulatory law
Barrister who accepts direct instructions from healthcare professionals such as doctors, dentists
and dental technicians in order to assist them in disciplinary matters before their regulatory bodies.
He is happy to provide a complimentary 15 minute preliminary chat by phone or Skype.
Mark Kelly is a defence barrister with over 30 years
of experience in criminal and regulatory defence, particularly in respect of fraud, sexual offences,
market abuse and money laundering. He has extensive experience in both domestic and international work.
Ian Mason has over thirty years experience as a practising barrister
and practises general common law with specialist expertise in housing, landlord and tenant and property law.
He advises and helps small businesses with contractual disputes and debt collection and enforcement matters as well
as dealing with neighbour and boundary disputes, disrepair and unlawful evictions.
Stuart McGee is an expert in divorce advice.
He is a member of Pump Court Chambers.
David Osborne is located near Taunton in Somerset.
He has been in private practice for over 35 years, and has considerable experience in the fields of crime,
family and matrimonial, general common law, contract, landlord and tenant, inquests, personal injury
and road traffic accidents. His practice is now almost exclusively Public Access work.
Richard O’Sullivan is a Barrister, Mediator and Arbitrator Practicing in the
full range of Civil Law including Construction, Property (Commercial and Residential) and Planning.
He is available for direct access or solicitor instruction.
Stewart Patterson is a barrister with great experience in contractual disputes, builder problems, arbitration, mediation and criminal representation. He is a member of Pump Court Chambers.
Heather Platt is specialist in employment and discrimination law. She is a member of Pump Court Chambers and Riverview Chambers.
Charles Price has been an employment law Barrister since
1999. He has extensive experience in unfair dismissal, redundancy, contracts of employment,
pregnancy related dismissal, constructive dismissal, minimum wage claims, compromise agreements,
post termination covenants, holiday pay disputes, parental leave, deductions from wages,
variation of contractual terms, whistleblowing, business transfer, harassment and breach of contract claims.
He advises both claimants and employers and offers a free initial consultation.
Andrew Thompson is a specialist road traffic barrister with
extensive experience of defending motoring cases. He will provide a free initial opinion on the merits of
your case if you contact him by
John Thornton practices from Stour Chambers in Canterbury. He is a barrister with over
11 year's experience representing all parties in family, criminal and some civil law proceedings. He provides a number of
templates and guides on the site with free information and general guidance on court procedure on divorce and children act proceedings.
There are also templates, forms and links to sites of interest.
The templates are writable straight from the web and can be used as a pro-forma for position statements and witness statements in court proceedings.
Oliver White is an experienced and highly
sought after Commercial Barrister practising from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers, a leading Commercial
and Public Law set of Chambers. He is regularly instructed in some of the leading Commercial disputes
and is widely acknowledged to be a ‘savvy and aggressive’ litigator who is known to fight his
client’s cause without distraction.
Note to chambers and barristers who are featuring direct access services on their web site - let me know
and I will add you to this list! No charge.