Public Access

Qualified members of Chambers are able to represent you on a direct access basis. Where that is unsuitable, we will be very happy to recommend a solicitor to you.

In 2004, the governing body of Barristers, the Bar Standards Board, relaxed the requirement for a solicitor in legal proceedings. Since then, QEB Hollis Whiteman has ensured that we are equipped to accept work on a direct access basis, enabling individual members of the public and companies to instruct Barristers directly via public or licensed access. Individuals and most professions are now able to obtain specialist legal advice and assistance without the need or involvement of a solicitor. Where we deem that the case is unsuitable for the scheme, we are able to recommend you to the best solicitor for your case.

Qualified members can provide advice and assistance at any stage on matters including: interpretation of legislation; how to comply with the legislation; whether or not a breach of the law has been committed; whether or not to fight a case; evidence to be collated in order to progress your case; negotiating with an ‘opposing party’; conducting correspondence; and drafting documentation.

Removing the necessity for a solicitor will reduce the cost; however, your Barrister has an ongoing professional duty to consider the needs of a client and, should it become necessary to instruct a solicitor, will say so and, where appropriate, provide recommendations.

The cost of instructing a Barrister directly will be either be charged as a fixed fee for or an hourly rate depending on the nature of the work. These fees are calculated according to the seniority and level of expertise of a specific Barrister, their skills, the complexity of the matter and the prevailing market rates. The current rate of VAT will be added where applicable. Expenses incurred by Barristers will only be added where agreed at the outset. If you decide that you would like to instruct a Barrister on a direct access basis the clerks will be able to advise you on Barristers that are suitable to your needs and give a transparent quote for the costs involved. Fees will always be agreed with you in advance of any work undertaken by the Barrister.

All of the Barristers at QEB Hollis Whiteman who accept direct public access are registered with the Bar Council to conduct direct public access work and are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

For further information from the Bar Standards Board on how the public access scheme works and how members of the public can use it to instruct Barristers directly please see the guidance notes here.

We are happy to provide initial guidance as to whether the public access scheme is suitable for your legal requirements free of charge, please contact us for further details. If you require any further or additional information at any stage then please do not hesitate to contact the Senior Clerk, Chris Emmings. We aim to reply within 2 working days.