What Is Direct Access?

Traditionally barristers were permitted only to accept work from solicitors.  This meant that an individual or company requiring advice or assistance from a barrister would, first, have to instruct and pay for the assistance of a solicitor.

In July 2004, the barristers’ governing body, the Bar Council, introduced a new direct access qualification for barristers.  Barristers achieving that qualification are permitted to accept work directly from individuals and businesses.

Under direct access the role of the barrister remains the same.  Since there is no solicitor acting between the barrister and the client, the client has to do some of the routine work traditionally undertaken by a solicitor.  Most businesses are fully capable of undertaking such work, especially with the guidance which can be provided by the barrister.

Working as a sole practitioner enables me to pass on the benefit of reduced overheads in lower fees, and lower rates can be agreed for greater volume of work.

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