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Direct Public Access

Instructing a barrister direct

The Direct Access Scheme allows members of the public, foreign lawyers, professionals, and commercial organisations to instruct one of our barristers directly. This provides you access to expert legal advice, drafting, representation at hearings, where your barrister will appear in court on your behalf, and a full range of other legal services - without incurring the additional expense of employing a solicitor.

The Bar Standards Board provides Direct Access guidance for lay clients on instructing a barrister directly.

Our Direct Access trained barristers can advise you on your legal issues and legal rights and answer your legal questions across our areas of practice, depending on availability and the suitability of your case.

Direct Access is available for civil litigation (including employment claims, personal injury, landlord and tenant, contractual disputes, business law and commercial litigation), Family Court cases, and the defence of criminal charges. It is also available where you may want representation in arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution processes.

There are many benefits to instructing a barrister direct, including:

  • You have direct contact with the specialist of your choice, who will advise you on your legal issues, appear in court, and represent you before the courts or tribunals;
  • An accurate estimate of legal fees at the outset;
  • You avoid duplication of work and cost;
  • You will have a contract with the barrister in the form of a Client Care Letter, setting out the terms and conditions of the Direct Access instruction.
  • Where the involvement of other professionals may be required, your barrister is well placed to suggest suitable advisers and expert witnesses, and to provide a clearly defined scope of work for them to undertake.

Not all cases are suitable for direct access, therefore please speak to one of our clerks to assess whether it is appropriate for your case. They will then advise you what you need to do next.

Currently, public funding (legal aid) cannot be used to instruct a barrister direct. In the event that you are eligible for, or have already been granted public funding for your case, our clerking team can assist by recommending an appropriate solicitors firm.

Pricing Structures

Brief fee and refresher

A brief fee is a fixed fee which covers preparation for a trial and the first day. A refresher is a fixed fee for each subsequent day of the trial (which includes ongoing preparation).

Capped fee

A barrister will charge an amount of money per hour (an hourly rate), but agree with the client that the total amount will not be more than a set level.

Conditional fee agreement

A client will only pay a barrister for work if they receive compensation as a result of the proceedings. Conditional fee agreements are popular with consumers and often referred to as “no win, no fee” agreements.

Fixed Fee

A barrister will charge a client a set amount of money for work. There may also be circumstances where additional fees are charged.

Fact Sheets

We have fact sheets to give transparent information to our direct access clients in the most frequently used areas of direct instruction. Please click on the relevant link below:

Employment Law Cases Fact Sheet

Financial Disputes in Divorce Cases Fact Sheet

Inheritance Act Advice Fact Sheet

Motoring Cases Fact Sheet

Winding Up Petitions Fact Sheet

Who does direct public access work in Chambers?

The members of Chambers who undertake direct public access work are listed below. Their own pages will give details of the areas in which they specialise.

Our team of clerks are always happy to discuss your requirements, or if you need more information about fee quotes or time scales. Please contact either Stuart Sellen, Craig Brown or Cliff Strong on 020 7404 7000 or by email: clerks@thomasmore.co.uk.

Members Who Specialise

Cameron Maxwell Lewis


Robert Deacon


Philip Noble


Simon Livingstone


Manus Egan


Sarah Lucy Cooper


Rima Baruah


Simon Gladwell


Fiona Edington


Laura Collignon


Desiree Artesi


Amiot Vollenweider


Ben Walker Nolan


Clive Wolman


Puneet Rai


Nicholas Maggs


Kerry Anne Currie


Zoë Gibbon


Jacob Gifford Head


Stephanie Wookey


Tracy Bird


Charlotte Mitchell-Dunn


Joy Adeniran


Johan Grefstad


Genevieve Moss


Samuel Frost


Patrick Wise-Walsh


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Phone: +44 (0) 20 7404 7000 |

Email: clerks@thomasmore.co.uk

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