Is My Case Suitable?

Is my case suitable for direct access?

Not all cases are suitable for public access instructions. A barrister is not permitted to carry out litigation on your behalf, therefore you will need to be confident that you can undertake the administrative tasks (or litigation) associated with managing your case, including:

  • Gathering relevant papers and evidence in support of you case.
  • Providing clear and concise instructions for your barrister.
  • Corresponding with the court and other parties directly (although your barrister will be able to draft letters and other legal documents on your behalf).

Specifically, you can instruct a one of our barrister’s to:

  • represent you in court or in tribunal or other disciplinary hearings
  • provide you with expert legal advice
  • assist you to draft correspondence
  • help to draft statements from litigants and witnesses
  • negotiate settlement terms and execute them (e.g. settlement agreements)
  • advise you on suitable experts and draft instructions to expert witnesses
  • offer you advice on the next steps to be taken in proceedings
  • draft formal documents – such as wills

The Bar Standards Board provide full guidance about members of the public using barristers.

If my case is NOT suitable for direct access?

Our Direct Access barristers are required to adhere strictly to the Bar Code of Conduct. If, on reviewing your case, we consider that your interests would best be served by instructing a solicitor, we will advise you of this and of the next steps for you as soon as possible.

This may also be the case in the event that your case is be suitable for public funding. Although legal aid is no longer available for most private family law disputes (i.e. where children are not deemed to be at risk of significant harm), there are some circumstances in which it is still available, particularly if you have been a victim of domestic abuse.

Direct access barristers are not able to apply for legal aid on your behalf, so if you think you might be eligible, you can either go to a solicitor who can work with legally aided clients, or check your eligibility via the government’s legal aid calculator.

For more information about the Public Access Scheme, please visit the Bar Council’s website.

Get in touch.

Clients are encouraged to contact one of our Clerks in the first instance to discuss the suitability of their matter for direct access and the availability of an appropriate direct access Barrister.

If it appears that it is appropriate for a Barrister to assist you, we will arrange for a preliminary telephone discussion with one of our Barristers. This discussion will not place any commitment upon you to continue with instructing via direct access.

If you require our professional and compassionate services in divorce and mediation or you would like additional advice, our dedicated Clerking team are available on 0113 200 2400 or email us at clerks@spirebarristers.co.uk. Alternatively, you can reach us by completing our contact form below.

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