Organisations, companies, firms and members of the public are now able to directly instruct a barrister to provide specialist advice or representation without first instructing a solicitor. College Chambers accepts direct access instructions in all practice areas where appropriate. Not every case is suitable -often the investigation and management skills of a solicitor are essential

 How to Proceed

The first step is a telephone call to our experienced clerks who are professionally trained in the direct access system. You will be asked to complete a short questionnaire (see link below) to determine whether your case is suitable for direct access, and if so which barrister may fit your needs.

Though some of the questions in the questionnaire may seem imposing please do complete it in as much detail as possible, with particular emphasis on:

  • Who the dispute is with
  • A brief background of your case
  • Any relevant deadlines
  • What you would want from the barrister - representation or advice?

As all professionals, we are required by our regulatory body to keep proper records of our clients and comply with statutory regulations. Information provided in the questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential and will not be released by us without your authority, save for very exceptional reasons (such as compliance with money laundering or other such legislation).

Once your case has been assessed by your chosen barrister and they have accepted your case, a client care letter will be sent. This forms the contract between you and your barrister, setting out terms and conditions. This agreement is with that particular barrister and no one else will be able to carry out work on your case unless a separate agreement is in place.


Rules

What we can do for you

  • Advise you or your business, either in conference or in writing
  • Draft formal court documents (called 'pleadings') setting out your case
  • Draft the terms of formal letters; such as notices of intended claims, instructions to experts and settlement offers
  • Advise you as to the evidence you will need in your case
  • Represent you in courts and tribunals
  • Attend formal meetings with you such as joint settlement meetings and mediations.

What we cannot do for you

  • Engage in correspondence for you or on your firm’s behalf (although we may be able to assist in drafting letters for you to send).
  • Take responsibility for the management of court proceedings; or put ourselves on the court record as being able to accept formal notices for you or issue court proceedings for you (although we can advise you as to how to do this yourself).
  • Investigate your case or interview witnesses (although we can advise you as to evidence that you will need to assemble and draft statements from the material you have collected).
  • Hold money on behalf of anybody else.
  • Instruct experts directly.

Not sure if you qualify for legal aid? – Please follow this link to the Legal Services commission Legal Aid calculator.


Further Guidance

Further information with regards to the scheme can be found on the Bar Council Website www.barcouncil.org.uk