“I didn’t know that I could go direct to a Barrister but at Cumbria Law Chambers I received expert advice and it cost less than going through a solicitor.”


Cumbria Law is equipped to accept work under the Direct Public Access scheme, which enables members of the public and businesses to instruct barristers directly to provide legal advice or representation in court.

Anyone can now go directly to a barrister without having to involve anyone else (e.g. a solicitor). The barrister's role remains essentially the same as when they are approached by a solicitor or another intermediary. Barristers can advise you on your legal status or rights. Barristers can draft and send documents for you and can represent you in court, tribunals or mediations. Barristers can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings where appropriate.

Because the barrister's role is unchanged and there are limits on the types of work that a barrister can do, there are still some cases and situations in which you will need to instruct a solicitor or another intermediary as well as a barrister. However, for many cases the public access scheme allows you to go directly to the expert barrister for advice, representation and drafting.

For a Free no obligation assessment of your case call 01768 486 508 or  apply online and we will call you.

Direct Public Access: Explained

What is direct public access?
Members of the public, companies and businesses may now go directly to a barrister without having to involve a solicitor or other intermediary. This is called direct access or public access and is available in all areas of law. In the past it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor or other third party in order to instruct a barrister. Although the barrister's role remains essentially the same, members of the public may instruct a barrister directly through the public access scheme.

What are the advantages of the public access scheme?
The main advantage of the public access scheme is that it could potentially save you money, since you would be paying for a barrister only instead of a barrister and solicitor. However, although the barrister would be able to deal with most aspects of the case, you could have to assist in some areas, such as filing documents with the court or certain administrative tasks.

Is my case suitable for public access?
Public access is available for all types of work that barristers can do, except for work funded by legal aid. It is most suitable for reasonably straightforward cases. If the barrister considers that your case would benefit from the involvement of a solicitor, they will tell you so.

What is the difference between barristers and solicitors?
Barristers provide expert legal advice, draft documents and represent clients at hearings. Most barristers specialise in one or more areas of law, such as personal injury or employment and discrimination. Solicitors generally take responsibility for the management of their client’s legal case (conduct of litigation). Solicitors handle a client’s affairs and money, give advice and draft documents. Barristers can undertake this work only where they are authorised to conduct litigation.

Barristers tend to charge a fixed fee for a piece of work or for a hearing. Solicitors tend to charge by the hour, including travel time and waiting. Solicitors may also refer your case on to a barrister anyway, in which case you pay both the solicitor and the barrister. Under the direct public access scheme, you only pay for the barrister, and you know the cost up-front.

What services can barristers offer under the direct public access scheme?
The following are some examples of work which direct public access barristers are allowed to do.

  • represent you at court or at other tribunals, appeal hearings, committee hearings and reviews
  • give you legal advice about your case
  • negotiate on your behalf
  • advise you on the legal or procedural steps which need to be taken in your case
  • draft documents for you, such as court proceedings, statements, contracts, commercial contracts and wills
  • draft letters for you to send to others - the letter can state that it has been drafted by a barrister
  • prepare your witness statement from what you tell them for use in proceedings
  • prepare witness statements from another person based on the information which that person has provided
  • advise on the evidence you need, but cannot investigate or collect evidence for use in proceedings
  • advise you on the choice of a suitable expert and may draft a letter of instruction for you to send on your own notepaper

If you would like to discuss any aspect of Direct Public Access work please contact us.

Chambers Guiding Principles

  • to aim for the best result for you
  • to approach your case with determination to win
  • to have the resolve to succeed
  • to work together as a team
  • to keep our fees highly competitive

Please visit our specialist sections for more information.

For a Free no obligation assessment of your case call 01768 486 508 or  apply online and we will call you.