Direct Access Barristers
If you are thinking of instructing a barrister directly, then this part of the website will give you guidance on what is involved.
Can I instruct a barrister directly?
Until recently it was not possible for members of the public to go to a barrister directly. They needed to use a solicitor for example. However, the Bar Council has recently relaxed its rules. Members of the public are now able to instruct barristers directly on many family or civil matters. This is called Direct Access.
Direct Access Barristers
Direct access has been introduced to allow an individual in need of (often immediate) legal expertise the opportunity to approach a specialist lawyer advocate in cost effective circumstances. The Bar Council website provides comprehensive details about the full range of professional services available under the direct access scheme. Click here to access the bar council website.
Direct Access has created an opportunity for individuals to secure excellent advice and representation with financial savings. At 2 New Street Chambers where advice is sought in relation to family matters e.g. divorce and sorting out the finances, or civil issues (which can range from land law to contractual matters or compensation claims) you will receive a personal and easily accessible professional service where you will be provided with support and guidance in addition to specialist advice.
Is my case suitable?
Many cases are suitable. You can contact chambers by e-mail or telephone whereupon we will arrange a preliminary meeting or telephone conversation to discuss whether your case is suitable. If it is not, then we can assist you with finding a solicitor or other legal advisor. There are some excellent solicitors in the Leicester and Midlands area.
Which barrister is right for me?
The following barristers are qualified to undertake direct access work:
Steven Gasztowicz QC | Sally Barnett | Emma Burden | Tracey Paskins | William Hillier
A number of factors will assist in deciding which barrister is right for your case, to give you the reassurance you need. Cost is a significant factor but so too is experience. We have barristers at all levels to choose from. A barrister must have been in practise for at least 3 years and have completed a Direct Access training course in order to undertake this work. To practise as a barrister you must have obtained a law or other qualifying degree, pass the Bar Vocational Course and be called to the Bar. You must then complete a year’s training period called pupillage and then apply to join a set of chambers. Only then having practised for 3 years and having completed the accredited course can barristers undertake direct access.
All barristers must have a current practising certificate issued by the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales. This is a legal requirement and must be renewed annually. Each barrister must have compulsory indemnity insurance and be subject to the supervision if the Bar Standards Board. If you are dissatisfied you are entitled to make a complaint using our disciplinary procedure or ultimately to the General Council of the Bar located at 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7H7.
The barristers at 2 New Street Chambers who undertake Direct Access work fulfil each of the stringent criteria required to do this, with some having over 20 years’ experience exclusively in family/civil work, covering the Midlands area and beyond.
If your case if suitable we will work with you to decide the best way to proceed with your case and provide you with a client care letter – Please click here to view an example client care letter.
How much will it cost?
The costs will vary from case to case but will be discussed with you at the free preliminary meeting so that you have as clear an understanding as possible of what is likely to be involved.
Please click here for further information on instructing one of our barristers on a Direct Access basis in relation to financial remedies on divorce.
What do I do next?
If you wish to consider instructing a barrister directly then please telephone Chambers on 0116 2625906 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please see the Bar Standards Board’s Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients, available here: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/for-the-public/finding-and-using-a-barrister/how-to-instruct-a-barrister/public-access-guidance-for-lay-clients.html
It will help if beforehand you gather together some key information as at the time of your preliminary meeting a form will be filled in by your barrister with the basic information being given by you. It is vital that you give any deadline dates/hearing dates at this point and inform us whether you have already received legal advice from a solicitor or other legal adviser. We will help you decide if your case is suitable for direct access.
The emphasis of our approach is to give you support and guidance in addition to specialist advice with the aim of reducing conflict and resolving problems as quickly and effectively as possible.