Public Access


Anyone can now go directly to a barrister without having to involve anyone else (e.g. a solicitor). The barrister's role remains essentially the same as when they are approached by a solicitor or another intermediary. Barristers can advise you on your legal status or rights.  Barristers can draft and send documents for you and can represent you in court, tribunals or mediations.  Barristers can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings where appropriate.

Because the barrister's role is unchanged and there are limits on the types of work that a barrister can do, there are still some cases and situations in which you will need to instruct a solicitor or another intermediary as well as a barrister. However, for many cases the public access scheme allows you to go directly to the expert barrister for advice, representation and drafting.

Not all barristers accept public access work, in order to find a barrister who does public access work please see the public access directory. You can search the directory of trained barristers by town or city, area of practice or the barrister's name. 

New Public Access Contact details

The Bar Council is pleased to announce a dedicated telephone number and email address for queries relating to public and licensed access.

If you are a barrister with an ethical enquiry, a member of the public looking to instruct a barrister or just need more information please contact the Bar Council in one of the two ways below.

Telephone: 0207 611 1472

Step-by-step guide

1)      There are two drop-down menus to assist your search Practice Area and City or Town. It is often useful to conduct separate searches under different Practice Areas. You should also bear in mind that barristers may be availableto travel and utilising the City or Town drop down option will severely limit your results. We would recommend conducting a nationwide search, and then only using a geographical search if it is likely to show a good range of barristers in your area.

2)      Select Search at the bottom of the page.

3)      This will bring up a list of barristers with contact details in accordance with the criteria you selected.

4)      You can click on the barrister's name for further details, and proceed to their chambers' website which should provide more detailed information.

5)      You must contact the chambers in order to instruct the barrister. It is perfectly acceptable for you to ask questions to establish whether or not the barrister is right for your case.

6)      The Bar Council will not be able to assist you further in selecting a barrister and cannot recommend a barrister.

If you need advice about this, please telephone the Bar Council on 020 7611 1472.

Public Access Directory

The Public Access Directory contains barristers who have trained to accept instructions directly from the public.


Click here for public access guidance and the model client care letters.