Public Access Work

Under the Bar’s Public Access Scheme, it is possible to instruct a barrister directly, often known as “direct access”. This can be a cost-effective way to manage a legal case where client and barrister work directly together without a solicitor.

How does it work?

Traditionally barristers have always been accessed via a solicitor – so two lawyers are involved. The direct access scheme enables clients to access a barrister directly – which can be ideal for those seeking advisory work, specialist representation or wanting to manage their own legal cases bringing in the expertise of a barrister only when required.

Once instructed the barrister is engaged under contract to the client for the specified work under a strict budget. It gives the client complete control.  All fees are agreed in advance of the work being started. Many direct access clients are surprised at how easy the relationship works with their barristers. All barristers providing this service have undergone specialist training and have been approved by the Bar Standards Board.

The work we can do for You

Libertas Chambers is a specialist criminal and regulatory chambers. Our work covers the full range of criminal law, regulatory law and the associated areas of professional discipline and inquests. We can also offer expertise in civil law in certain specialist fields. Please see our practice areas on this website.

Many of our members are authorised to undertake direct access work which enables clients to instruct their barristers directly without the need for a solicitor. Many companies are also able to take advantage of this service. We can offer advisory and advocacy services under direct access, the type of work we can do for you can cover:

  • Drafting letters
  • Providing written advice
  • Meeting with you in conference
  • Attending meetings with you
  • Advising and attending with you at formal interviews with the Police, HMRC, SFO and other regulators
  • Assistance with internal investigations.
  • Advice on external investigations by the Police, HMRC, SFO and other regulators
  • Advice on legal professional privilege
  • Preparation of your case, drafting witness statements, identifying issues and advising upon case strategy.
  • Representation at court.
  • Representation in professional disciplinary hearings.
  • Representation in mediations & settlement negotiations.

As specialist advocates, we can provide you with high quality representation in court, before professional regulators, prosecuting authorities, in mediation and arbitration.  We can also assist with negotiations. Our members have experience working directly with direct access clients in a broad range of criminal, civil, commercial and regulatory matters.

We can offer this service across our specialisms in criminal and regulatory law, professional discipline and associated areas. It maybe you want initial advice in the early stages of a legal case so you can consider your options, you may want a second opinion or you may want to engage a barrister from the outset to oversee your legal case – our barristers are available to assist you at every stage.

In our experience many legal cases still benefit for the instruction of solicitors and barristers working together – especially where extensive investigation work and evidence gathering may be required. In those cases, we will always tell you and if appropriate recommend suitable solicitors who can work with us. We have a great deal of experience working with some of the finest firms of solicitors in the country alongside expert witnesses and other specialists.

Regrettably, the public access scheme does not include legal aid work.

When required we can put together a team to work on your case, including our QCs. We have members who are authorised litigators enabling us to provide a full litigation service akin to a solicitor when required.

Should you be interested in instructing a barrister direct please initially speak with our clerks or send an email to them clerks@libertaschambers.com headed Direct Access Enquiry to discuss you needs. Our clerks will then discuss your needs with you so we can identify the most suitable barristers available, discuss fees, timescales and extent of work required. You can make an initial enquiry without obligation and in many cases one of our barristers will be happy to discuss your requirements free of charge before you formally instruct them.

All direct access work is undertaken in accordance with the Bar’s direct access scheme. The detailed rules that regulate direct access work and the work that can be undertaken under the scheme can be found on the Bar Standards Board Website: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk