Direct Access Barristers

By Prev Info - February 19, 2022

After the revolutionary changes in the UK legal system in 2004, clients have the right to directly visit barristers and discuss their legal problems without approaching solicitors. Before the changes came into effect in 2004, the clients have to first approach solicitors and discuss their cases with them. Solicitors then take up the case and find the right barrister to present the case in the court.


Direct access barristers have made the process of hiring an experienced barrister easy for the common man. One of the major benefits of this direct access or public access barrister system is that the clients have been able to save a considerable amount of their money by directly approaching the barrister.

The expenses incurred in hiring a solicitor is totally done away with and this had made the savings possible. It is not only individual clients who get benefited by this new system, but also corporate clients are able to save a substantial amount of money by directly reaching the barrister. The direct access system has shaken up the establishment.

Direct Access Barristers operate in different practice areas such as commercial, civil and family law, employment, immigration, inquest and regulatory. While choosing an appropriate barrister, one has to consider three major actors before fixing on one barrister. These three factors are cost, reputation and protection provided by the barrister.

Protection is very much important and makes it mandatory for all the practicing barristers to obtain a certification from the General Council of the Bar for England and Wales. Since they are registered under the General Council of the bar, they are closely monitored by General Council members. The General Council also provides freedom to the clients to directly approach the General Council if they are not satisfied with the legal services provided by the barrister.

With respect to the cost factor, in addition to the direct access to the barrister, which saves money spent on solicitors, the hourly rates of barristers are not significantly more than that of solicitors. This again will result in considerable cost savings for the common person and also for small business establishments.

The cost incurred in taking the legal advice of the barrister can be negotiated with the administration team that is attached to the barrister’s office. Most money related matters related to the court proceedings are taken by the administration team and direct access barristers are not supposed to interfere in these activities.



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