Public Access (also known as Direct Access) allows you to instruct a barrister to represent you in a legal dispute, or to provide legal advice directly to you, without the need to be referred by a solicitor or third party. The process provides an additional route to the very best legal advice and representation.
The Public Access Rules came into force in 2004 allowing individuals, in many circumstances, to instruct a barrister directly for advice and representation in legal matters. Public Access accredited barristers still receive instructions from solicitors’ firms and are also able to assist you in deciding whether or not your case requires a solicitor. They can give you this advice at no cost and can even assist you in arranging a first meeting with a solicitor who is appropriate for your case.
Where your case does not require a solicitor, a public access barrister will be able to represent you directly, including drafting legal documents, court forms and letters and representing you in court. Where your interests would be best served instructing a solicitor, we will always fulfil our professional obligation to inform you of this.
What types of work can a Public Access Barrister carry out?
KCH Garden Square has a large number of Barristers who are able to receive Public Access instructions in the following areas of law:
Criminal Law (where it is privately paid)
Professional Discipline matters
Road Traffic Offences
KCH Garden Square also offers trained mediators to assist you where mediation or other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution are the most appropriate way for your case to be dealt with.
Our barristers can provide a number of services, including:
Advisory work – advice on your case and prospects of success
Drafting – a barrister can draft letters, legal documents or contracts
Representation – barristers can represent you and argue your case in Court
How does Public Access work?
We have made the Public Access process as simple and straight forward for you as possible. In order to make an initial enquiry, please contact us on 0115 8532305 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help you with your enquiry, we will ask you for the following information:
Your name and contact information
The type of case which you need assistance with
Whether you need advice or representation at a Court hearing
If your case is not suitable for a public access barrister we will tell you as quickly as possible, without charge and explain why.
Once you have made an initial enquiry and we have a suitable barrister to assist you, your barrister will need to see documents relating to your case. This may be correspondence, emails, statements, plans, photographs etc.
Please note that it is very important that any documents sent to Chambers must be copies. Barristers do not have the same facilities for storing files as solicitors and the Bar Council rules by which we must act do not oblige a barrister to retain documents. In exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to provide copies, please contact us and we will assist with making arrangements for safe delivery and return.
What service will be provided and how much will it cost?
You will receive an efficient, transparent and professional service from our barristers together with the help from our clerks to make sure you receive the support and guidance you need.
The cost of a public access case will depends on a number of factors including the type of work you require and the seniority of your chosen barrister. We will always provide you with a clear quotation for handling your case and we will never complete any work unless you have agreed the relevant costs to do so. You will be asked to pay in advance and you will never be charged for work that you have not already agreed to.
Can I instruct a Public Access barrister using legal aid?
If you are eligible for legal aid or have already been granted legal aid, barristers cannot currently represent you unless they have been instructed by a solicitor.
You can see if you are eligible for legal aid here.
What are the advantages of Public Access?
The main advantage of the Public Access is cost. Instructing a barrister directly is often around 30% cheaper than going via a solicitor, as you are not paying for both your solicitor and your barrister, so cost savings are a big advantage to using the public access service.
Another advantage is speed. If you require advice urgently, it may be quicker to use a barrister directly rather than approach a solicitor. All KCH Garden Square barristers are self employed and often have some flexibility if the need for an urgent advice comes in.
The public access process also offers you more control. A solicitor will do all the work that is necessary on a case and charge you accordingly. Under the public access process, you can instruct a barrister to do as much or as little as you wish, from one opinion on your cases’ prospects to representation in Court. You will only ever be charged for the work you ask them to do, at a fee which is agreed by you in advance.
If you would like to speak to someone about instructing a barrister please contact us on 0115 8532305 or email us at email@example.com
The Bar Council explanation of what barristers do:
The Bar Council’s Public Access website:
The Bar Standards Board’s Rules relating to public access: