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What is Public Access to a barrister?
You can now instruct a barrister directly without involving a solicitor or anyone else to instruct on your behalf. There are several benefits of the Public Access Scheme.
Public Access can save you money.
Continuity and personal connection
Fixed fees & no hidden costs.
Not all matters are suitable for Public Access.
Barristers are not usually authorised to conduct litigation on your behalf. Simply put, this means you must be confident that you are able to undertake the administrative tasks which are normally associated with managing a case. This is what a solicitor would normally do on your behalf.
This would include collating paperwork relevant to your case, providing clear instructions on what you want from your barrister, corresponding with the other parties and the court. Your barrister can draft letters and legal documents on your behalf, but you will issue them and serve papers on your opponent and the court.
If you are in any doubt that you can manage those aspects mentioned above, we would recommend that you speak to a solicitor. However, in most cases we find that this is not necessary unless your case is particularly complex.
Public Access is not suitable for work that is publicly funded. To find out if you are eligible for public funding (sometimes referred to as legal aid), please check the legal aid guidance on the government website.
You may have also heard of the term “no win, no fee”. Similarly we do not accept Public Access work on this basis.
Unity Street Chambers were friendly and efficient from start to finish. They helped us solve a difficult commercial insurance issue with minimum fuss and expense. We could even instruct our Barrister direct - avoiding the additional cost of a solicitor! Would highly recommend.
Why use us?
Simply put, you cut out the middleman. You have direct access to an expert advocate who specialises in their chosen field of law.
You can instruct us to do the following on your behalf:
- Provide you with expert legal advice about the merits and potential outcomes in your case.
- Help you to draft correspondence and, in some circumstances, correspond on your behalf.
- Help to draft statements from litigants and witnesses and, in some circumstances, investigate and collect evidence on your behalf.
- Draft formal court documents.
- Advise you on suitable experts and draft instructions to expert witnesses.
- Offer you advice on the next steps to be taken in proceedings.
- Assist you in trying to resolve your case without going to court (e.g. by way of mediation or other form of alternative dispute resolution).
- Represent you in court.
Unless authorised to conduct litigation, unlike solicitors, our barristers cannot:
- Issue or serve court documents on your behalf.
- Handle client money.
- Instruct an expert witness on your behalf.
The barristers below take on public access work:
How much you pay will depend on what you are instructing a barrister to do, the nature and complexity of your case, and the seniority of counsel.
However, the process is straightforward, please download and fill in our Public Access Form. Once we have received your completed form, one of our clerks will get in contact with you to discuss things further.
For clarification, we do not charge for a barrister to ascertain if they can help you. Fees are only due once you and the barrister have agreed on what you require. You will be sent a Client Care Letter that sets out the terms and conditions together with fees payable and only then will payment be required.
Public Access Information Sheets
Please download the relevant information sheet to your Public Access need below
If you are not satisfied with the service of your barrister or Unity Street Chambers, you should first refer the matter to Chambers in line with chambers complaints procedure.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can speak to the Ombudsman.
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ