Direct Access (or “public access”) describes the process by which an individual, company, association, or other body can instruct a barrister directly.
Historically, a person seeking legal assistance would have been required to first instruct a solicitor, even if he or she principally required the specialist services of a barrister. It was through the solicitor (the “professional client”) that the member of the public (the “lay client”) could instruct a barrister. This often meant that a lay client would have (and would be paying for) the services of at least two legal professionals. This system changed in 2004. Lay clients may now instruct barristers directly, in certain circumstances and if certain conditions are met.
Not all cases are suitable for Direct Access under the Bar Council’s public access scheme. However, significantly, members of the public now have greater choice and can seek a tailored solution to most of their legal problems.
I am qualified to accept instructions under the public access scheme. If you would like further information on how to instruct me, please contact my Direct Access Manager, Laura Rogers, at Tanfield Chambers on +44 (0)20 7421 5267 or by email.