What is Direct Access?
Direct access (or Public Access) enables members of the public to instruct a barrister directly, rather than being referred by a solicitor first and having the solicitor liaise with the barrister on your behalf.
The barrister’s role remains the same, meaning that they are qualified to:
- Provide you with expert legal advice about the merits and potential outcomes of your case.
- Assist you with drafting correspondence.
- Help to draft statements from litigants and witnesses.
- 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 and represent you in court.
Most barristers who offer Direct Access do not offer to conduct litigation. That means that the responsibility for the day to day management of your case will remain with you.
Our dedicated team of family law barristers are readily available to assist with your legal queries and cases. You can see our Direct Access team below.
Due to COVID-19 many hearings in the Family Court are now being held remotely by telephone or video. Resolution’s Litigants in Person Committee, which includes Coram’s Matthew Shaw, has provided a guide to preparing for, joining and participating in remote hearings. If you are instructing a Direct Access family barrister you will find this guidance useful.
Further guidance on the direct access scheme can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on 020 7092 3700
Mark Twomey KC
Shiva Ancliffe KC
Michael Horton KC
John Paul Cregan
Dr Bianca Jackson
The cost of instructing a barrister will depend on a number of different factors, including the complexity of the case, the seniority of the barrister you have chosen to instruct, the volume of paperwork involved, timescales, the history of the matter and the other sides approach, the amount of work involved in preparation for the hearing, and the estimated duration of the hearing.
We will always be transparent and upfront about costs. Once we have seen all the relevant papers and have reached a full understanding of the nature of your case and the service you require, we will set out in writing the proposed charges. We will give you a clear written quote specifying the work the barrister will do before undertaking the work. All fees are subject to VAT and are payable in advance. If following the initial work further legal assistance is required, the work and the fee will be agreed with you in advance and confirmed in writing.
The table below provides a range of fixed fees, where the parties have joint assets which are worth less than £300,000.
|Initial Conference and Preparation||£1250 – £2000|
|Written advice on your financial dispute||£1500 – £2500|
|Additional conferences if required||£1500 – £2000|
|First appointment (first court hearing exchanging financial information)||£2000 – £2500 Brief Fee
|Financial dispute resolution appointment (second court hearing to reach a financial settlement)||£2500- £4000 Brief Fee|
|First day of final hearing (if settlement was not reached in the financial dispute resolution appointment)||£4000 – £5000 Brief Fee|
Please note: Court hearing fees may require an uplift with reference to expenses, dependent on court location, travel time and costs.
Estimated fees are correct as of 1 June 2020, and prices displayed exclude VAT (where applicable). For a quotation please contact one of the clerks (email@example.com).
Our clerking team will also be able to assist with a quotation if you and your former partner have joint assets more than £350,000.