Public Access


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.

Not all barristers accept public access work, in order to find a barrister who does public access work please see the Direct Access Portal. You can search the directory of trained barristers by town or city, and area of practice.

New Direct Access Portal

dapThe Bar Council recently entered into a new partnership with two barristers, Pru Beever and Mike Whyatt of the Northern Circuit, to relaunch their home-grown Direct Access Portal (DAP) website. The partnership will see the portal, which acts as an online register, as the main hub for consumers, businesses and other organisations seeking to find a direct access barrister. The aim of the new website is to help drive more business to barristers. 

Free for the public to use, direct access barristers who already pay the Bar Council's Bar Representation Fee (BRF) of £100 per year will be listed on the portal as yet another benefit of the BRF. Those who have yet to pay the BRF will be required to do so in order to be listed on the new portal. The Bar Council will be writing to all barristers registered to accept direct access instructions over the summer in preparation for the migration to the new portal. 

Public Access contact details

If you are a member of the public looking to instruct a barrister and need assistance on the use of the Direct Access Portal, please contact the Bar Council by telephone or email.

Telephone: 0207 611 1472

If you are a barrister with an ethical enquiry, please contact the Ethical Enquiries Service.