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Direct Access

What is Direct Access?

Many of us will need legal advice throughout our lives and unfortunately this sometimes brings with it an awful lot of stress and worry too. Knowing where and who to turn to can be bewildering at first but did you know you can save money by coming direct to a us without the need for a firm of solicitors.

Direct access enables you to work directly with a barrister rather than having both a solicitor and a barrister. This means that you can save money as you will only have to pay one person, instead of two. You may also be able to fix the barrister’s fees in advance, so that there are no hidden costs.

Directly instructing a barrister means you can use your financial resources more effectively, spending more on advice and preparation rather than administration. Providing your instructions directly can help to improve communication between you and your barrister.

Regency Chambers will provide you with details of the most suitable barrister for your requirement in accordance with your budget, assist with legal terminology, court forms and procedures. If we feel you would better benefit from the services of a solicitor, we will recommend a trusted solicitor to you.

Our barristers and clerks fully embrace innovation in delivering legal services built on traditional values and customer care is at the forefront of our mind when assisting our client’s legal need.

Steps for Direct Access

Here’s our easy, step-by-step guide to instructing a barrister via the Direct Access scheme:

Complete our Public Access Questionnaire

  • A clerk will acknowledge receipt of your questionnaire and contact you by email or telephone, usually within 48 hours, with a list of suitably qualified barristers.
  • You choose a barrister who will look at your paperwork and assess the best course of action.
  • A clerk will contact you with the suggested work and a fixed fee quote.
  • If you choose to instruct the barrister then a letter of agreement will be sent to you, which you must sign and return along with photo ID and a recent proof of address.
  • An invoice will be sent in advance of the barrister starting the work for you as is required by their regulatory body, the Bar Standards Board.

The fees quoted to you will be a fixed fee based on the seniority of your chosen barrister. There are some occasions where an hourly rate will need to be agreed, for example if any drafting work is required, but this will be fully explained to you in advance. All fees must be paid in advance of the barrister starting any work for you. Most of our barristers are VAT registered however we will confirm whether your chosen barrister is VAT registered when we discuss fees with you. You can see our fee schedule for direct access barristers here. All fees are quoted exclusive of VAT.

If you choose to decline instruction, there will be no charge to you and any paperwork you have supplied will be available for you to collect.

Should you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.

Not sure about your rights or legal terms? These FAQs may have the answer.

Can anyone instruct a Barrister on direct access basis?

When you need a barrister to do work for you, there are two ways that you can instruct them: If you have a solicitor who is also working on your legal problem, they will instruct a barrister for you. If you do not have a solicitor working for you, you can go directly to a barrister yourself if they are a “Public Access” barrister. “Public Access” is the term used to describe members of the public going directly to a barrister, rather than through a solicitor. Not all barristers are allowed to deal with members of the public directly as they have to complete special training first.

How much does it cost and how can I pay?

How much a barrister will cost will depend on a number of issues including their year of call (how experienced they are), what type of case/hearing you want to instruct them on and how complex the matter is. Our clerks will liaise with you and the barrister and will inform you of their fee/s for work you wish to instruct them on. We can accept payment either by BACS or we also accept payment by Credit or Debit card. You can find more information on our Fees page here.

Do I have to pay up front for everything?

Yes. All fees must be paid before the barrister will commence work.

Can I instruct a barrister if I have Legal Aid funding?

No. Barristers are not able to accept instructions on Legal Aid via the Public Access scheme.

Can I choose which barrister I instruct?

You can request any direct access barrister when first contacting us. Dependant on them being available on the date/dates required and agreeing to accept your instructions then we can add your case to their diary. If your chosen barrister is not available then we will offer you alternative barristers.

Can a barrister respond to letters on my behalf?

If you are using a Public Access barrister you may need to do some things yourself, including conducting litigation. “Conducting litigation” includes filing documents at court and serving documents on others. "Serving documents" on another person means a formal handing over of those documents to them.

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