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Public Access

Following changes in the law, members of the public and companies are now able to instruct barristers directly for legal advice or representation without going through a solicitor first. This is called Public Access or Direct Access.

Direct access means that an expert barrister will, in certain cases, be able to handle your case from start to finish, without the need for an intermediary solicitor or other legal professional. It can also result in significant savings to the cost of preparing and conducting your case, without compromising the standard of service you will receive.

Chambers has a first class Direct Access team. Most members of Chambers are now qualified under the Bar Standards Board’s Public Access rules to accept instructions directly from clients whether individuals, companies or public bodies across all our areas of practice. 

The Direct Access barristers at 5KBW are able to provide advice and representation, to draft documents and, in appropriate cases, to advise on eligibility for legal aid. Our barristers will also always advise clients if they would benefit from the involvement of a solicitor in the preparation of their case and will help identify and instruct an appropriate firm or individual.

If you wish to enquire about instructing us directly, please email or speak to a member of our clerking team.  They may request that you complete a simple enquiry form in order that he may best assess the nature of the case and determine the most appropriate choice of barrister.

The information you provide may be sufficient for a barrister to agree to take on your case and for an initial estimate of the fees likely to be incurred.  A client care letter will then be issued, setting out the scope of work, the fees payable and any other conditions subject to which the work will be carried out. In some cases, it may be necessary for the barrister to hold a preliminary meeting with you before accepting the work and before a client care letter can be prepared.

The detailed rules governing the work a barrister may undertake through the Direct Access scheme may be found by using the search facility on the Bar Standards Board website.

The Bar Standards Board Handbook sets out the conditions under which a barrister may act on a Direct Access basis.  It will help us to determine whether a member of our Chambers may assist you on a Direct Access basis if you tell us a little about your enquiry.  We will contact you within one working day upon receipt of the completed form.

Please note that in the event that you become a Direct Access client of a barrister practising at 5 King’s Bench Walk, the rules relating to money laundering may require us to verify your identity and the source of funds used to meet your legal expenses.  If we are able to assist with your enquiry, we will provide further details of what is required.