How Direct Access Works

Step 1 – Get in touch

When you first contact us, you will be asked if you know which barrister you would like to instruct. If you do not know, then we will assist you to find a barrister with the right expertise and experience for your case and for your budget.

Before you first visit us at 1KBW, we will ask you to fill out a short and simple questionnaire providing your contact details and some basic information about your case and what it is you require your barrister to do. The questionnaire can be completed online in advance if you wish. This will quickly enable us to formulate with you the most effective way of approaching your case and how to get the most from your barrister.

Step 2 – Come to meet us

Each one of our barristers may do things slightly differently, but it is likely you will be asked to come to meet the barrister for a short initial consultation. It is unlikely you will be charged for that meeting. It enables your barrister will try to find out more about your case and discuss with you the best options for working with you.

It may be that after the initial meeting, the barrister’s opinion will be that your case is not suitable for Direct Access, and we may suggest that you contact a solicitor before instructing a barrister. If you wish, we will be happy to help you choose the right solicitor for your case and for your budget.

Step 3 – Agreeing our terms

Once we have sufficient information with which to assess your case, we will contact you to provide a fee quotation, agree a turnaround time for any written work, and to confirm that barristers’ availability to attend any court hearing or meeting. Please note that we may be unable to take on your case. If so, we will inform you promptly.

Our barristers will work on fixed fees, which depend on the complexity of the case or what you require the barrister to do for you. The fees will be set out clearly in our client care letter and are payable in advance by bank transfer or by way of cheque or debit/credit card telephone payment. After the work is completed we will send you a receipt with our VAT number.

Step 4 – Working with us

Our barristers are friendly and approachable people. We hope to work with you efficiently and professionally. It is imperative that you trust your barrister.

All of our barristers will do their best to manage your case and respond to you promptly. It is likely that in order to keep your costs down, your barrister will suggest the best form of communication and the appropriate level of communication between you. You will be responsible for the day to day management of your case, not the barrister, so it unlikely that a high level of communication will be required.

Barristers are specialist court advocates, which means that much of their day is spent in court or away from chambers. As a result, most barristers will prefer to communicate with you by email rather than over the telephone. It is also easier for both you and the barrister to keep a clear record of your communications with each other.

For more information about Direct Access:
The Bar Council publishes up to date guidance on their website.
The Bar Standards Board also produces guidelines.