Direct Access

Direct Access

Direct Access allows members of the public and businesses to seek expert legal advice from a barrister, without the need to use a solicitor first. The scheme will save you time and money in your legal matters, as well as making the process easier. Our barristers are experts in their areas and therefore ideally placed to advise you through your legal proceedings. They are approachable and always willing to take the time to help you understand the details of your case. We have an experienced clerking team who act as agents for the barristers and will help identify the most suitable barrister for your case. To get in touch with the team please email or complete the enquiry form on this page.

7BR teams providing direct access

  • Employment
  • Business Crime
  • Commercial
  • Child & Family

The Process

  • Contact our clerks outlining your legal matter and what you would like the barrister to do (e.g. attend court, advise in writing etc) via the form opposite, emailing at, or calling 020 7242 3555.
  • They will advise you as to the most suitable barrister for your case and arrange an initial consultation. That can take place on the telephone, in chambers or elsewhere.
  • At that consultation the barrister will discuss your legal problem with you and whether it can be effectively resolved by your using the Direct Access scheme.
  • If it is more appropriate for you to use the services of a solicitor first then the barrister will tell you so. We are happy to recommend a solicitor best able to help you.

Once a member of 7BR has agreed to undertake work for you under the Direct Access scheme there are a number of administrative steps which must be completed before any work can be done. The most important is to send you a contract which will set out the basis on which the work will be carried out. This contract, known as a “client care letter”, will state:

  • The work that will be undertaken.
  • The charges for that work.
  • The terms on which the work will be carried out.

Please do not send any documents (especially originals) to us before a barrister has agreed to take on your case.  If the barrister needs to see particular documents before he can decide whether to take the case we will request you to send us these.

What can a barrister do for you under the scheme?

  • Give expert legal advice.
  • Draft documents (e.g. contracts and standard terms of business).
  • Draft letters for you to send (although a barrister may not sign or send the letter on your behalf or write on his own notepaper).
  • Advise you on the formal steps to take in proceedings.
  • Draft formal court documents (e.g. statements of claim, defences etc.) for use in those proceedings.
  • Prepare statements for litigants and witnesses from information supplied.
  • Advise on the choice of an expert witness if required and draft a letter of instruction to that expert.

What are barristers not allowed to do?

  • Issue proceedings on your behalf or take other formal steps in proceedings.
  • Investigate or collect evidence for use in proceedings
  • Instruct an expert witness on your behalf.
  • Take responsibility for the general management of a client’s case or business affairs.
  • Handle a client’s money.

Make a direct access enquiry

What will it cost?

Our usual practice is to charge for advisory and drafting work on an hourly basis. The hourly rate applicable to your case will depend upon the level of experience of the barrister you have chosen, the complexity of your case and the amount of work involved. Typically, the hourly charge for a Queen’s Counsel is between £300-£500 plus VAT. For junior barristers, the rate is between £100-£300 plus VAT.

We usually charge a fixed rate for any advocacy work and we will agree that fee with you in advance of any appearance.

We do not have “hidden charges.” A rate or fee will be agreed with you before any work is carried out. In some circumstances it is not always possible to specify how long it will take to carry out the work. If so, we will tell you and will try to provide an estimate. However, whenever possible you will know in advance how many hours it will take to complete any work. We will never exceed the amount of hours specified without prior authority from you. After the agreed work has been completed, we will advise you if your case requires further work. If you want a barrister to do that additional work, and he or she is prepared to undertake it, then a new contract will be necessary.

What kind of work falls outside the Direct Access scheme?

The Bar Code of Conduct allows barristers to accept direct access instructions in any area of practice.

Can I get direct funding?

Direct funding is not available for work undertaken by barristers under the Direct Access Scheme. We cannot advise you on your eligibility for direct funding. Nor can we apply to the Legal Services Commission for funding on your behalf. If you think that you qualify or may qualify for direct funding you should approach a solicitor.

Where can I find more information?

The Bar Standards Board, the body that regulates barristers, has more information on its website.

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