‘Find a barrister’ website launched for the public

3 July 2015

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The Bar Council of England & Wales has given its backing to a new website which allows consumers and businesses to go directly to a barrister for legal services. 

Two barristers, Pru Beever and Mike Whyatt of the Northern Circuit who created the website, have joined forces with the national Bar Council to relaunch their Direct Access Portal (DAP) which will be the "go-to website" for consumers looking for a barrister. 

Traditionally, members of the public and businesses had to go through a solicitor in order to access the services of a barrister. However, since major changes to the rules in 2010 it has become easier for clients to now go directly to a barrister, reducing their legal fees in the process. 

The portal, which acts as an online register, will replace the Bar Council's existing direct access register as the main hub for consumers seeking to find a direct access barrister. 

Following the relaunch of the Direct Access Portal in Manchester on 1 July 2015, Alistair MacDonald QC, chairman of the Bar, said: "Innovation in the barristers' profession is clearly alive and well. The Direct Access Portal was designed with one aim in mind; to make it easier for the public to access the quality services that barristers provide. There are now thousands of barristers able to provide legal advice and other services directly to members of the public, potentially saving them money in the process. This portal will act as the point of access to these barristers." 

Pru Beever, who, with Mike Whyatt, only set up the portal a year ago, said: "Our motivation for creating the Direct Access Portal was not to make a profit but to simply make life easier for anyone looking for a barrister. There is no catch. Consumers don't have to pay a fee to find a barrister. The portal is free to use. We never envisaged that this would catch the eye of the Bar Council. It was never part of a master-plan, but we are delighted to have the organisation's weight backing this barrister-grown innovation." 

Beever and Whyatt developed and financed the portal jointly with Beever's husband, retired airline pilot David Jupe. The three entrepreneurs have entered into an "equal partnership" with the Bar Council. The Bar Council is providing three directors for the company which owns the portal, with Ms Beever, Mr Whyatt and Mr Jupe providing the other three. 

Currently, the DAP has almost 300 direct access barristers listed. That figure is set to increase with the Bar Council now on board. 

Direct Access barristers who pay the Bar Council's Bar Representation Fee of £100 per year will be able to list on the portal for free. It is an additional benefit to those who pay the BRF. 

Visit the Direct Public Access Portal to find a barrister 

Ends 

Notes to Editors 

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.
  2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 
  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
  • Fair access to justice for all
  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board