How to instruct a barrister
The Bar is a referral profession; the majority of
barristers are self-employed and are usually instructed by a
professional client on behalf of a lay client. However,
members of the public, professionals and companies can also
instruct a barrister without the use of a professional client.
There are a number of ways to instruct a barrister.
The following people may instruct barristers either on behalf of clients or on their own account.
In any matter for all types of work:
- Other authorised litigators
- Parliamentary agents, patent agents, trademark agents and Notaries
- European lawyers registered with the Law Society
- Employed barristers and/or European lawyers registered with the Bar Council
- Legal Advice Centres designated by the Bar Council.
In limited areas of work:
- Licensed conveyancers in matters in which they are providing conveyancing services
- Foreign lawyers for advice only.
Public Access scheme
Members of the public, and commercial and non-commercial organisations are able to instruct barristers directly. They can do this when it is not necessary to be supported by a Professional Client. This allows clients to take charge of their litigation and save on the cost of additional legal support.
You can find a barrister who is trained to accept direct instructions on the Public Access Directory.
Licensed Access scheme
The Bar Standards Board can grant a license to any organisation or individual suitable to instruct barristers because they have expertise in a particular area of the law . This way, they can instruct any member of the Bar for advice and in some circumstances representation. A license holder can instruct on their own behalf or on behalf of others.
For more information please see the Licensed Access pages.
For a full list of license holders please contact Joanne Dixon at the Bar Standards Board webiste.
To apply to hold a license please click here.
Arbitration and mediation
Many barristers act as mediators or arbitrators. Mediation and Arbitration are alternative ways in which a dispute can be resolved, without going to court.
Arbitration outcomes are binding whilst mediations outcomes are not. If you wish to appoint a barrister as a mediator please see the Bar Council list of Barrister Mediators. These barristers have undertaken relevant training in this area and are independent from either party to the dispute. This list is also available in hard copy. Please contact Alex Straker for a copy.
Barristers can also represent you in a mediation. If you wish to have a barrister represent you in a mediation without the assistance of a professional client please see the Bar Council Public Access directory.