New ‘find a barrister’ website could help public save money

20 October 2015

Consumers, the public and businesses can now save money by going directly to a barrister instead of having to go through a solicitor when they need a lawyer, thanks to a new website.  

The Bar Council's Direct Access Portal is a free-to-use online directory for the public, which allows them to find a barrister in their area and contact them directly without the need and extra cost of going through a solicitor. 

They do not need to engage a barrister for everything in the case.  It is possible to get advice on the chances of success, use the barrister to draft court documents, prepare documents for trial or to represent the person in court.  In addition, they can obtain services at fixed fees in some cases, so there will be no nasty surprises when the bill arrives.  

Traditionally, anyone seeking the services of a barrister had first to go through a solicitor. However, now, many barristers are trained as 'direct access' barristers, which means clients can go to them directly for legal support or representation at a price they can afford. 

The Direct Access Portal is the largest and most accurate listing of direct access barristers in England and Wales, with thousands of barristers in all practice areas. Barristers on the portal can help with a range of legal matters, including employment issues, family matters, tax, property law, immigration, licensing, road traffic laws and much more. 

Alistair MacDonald QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"Direct access has revolutionised how the public, small businesses and anyone else seeking the expertise of a barrister, can go about using their services. It used to be that the only way you could benefit from the services of a barrister was through a solicitor. Now, in many instances, you can keep costs down by going directly to a barrister.  Most direct access barristers are self-employed and have low overheads, so they don't charge a fortune to clients. 

"Of course, there will always be work that is more suited to a solicitor, such as conveyancing or will writing, but it is worth knowing that barristers can do a range of legal work that goes beyond their more familiar role of representing people in court. 

"The Direct Access Portal is there to help people find those barristers who are qualified to take work directly from the public.  There is no catch.  It is a free online directory that allows the public to gain access to some of the top lawyers not only in the UK but the world." 

The Bar Council points out that those who have become barristers have had to meet very high standards in order to achieve that qualification. They are also fully insured and regulated by the Bar Standards Board. 

Find a barrister on the Direct Access Portal 

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