Access to Barristers

Access to Barristers - Counsel are instructed by solicitors, other professionals who fall within the Bar Councils Licensed Access scheme and direct by Contractors, subcontractors, employer organisations and (in certain circumstances) private individuals via the Public Access rules introduced in 2004.

Our Solicitor colleagues will generally take responsibility for handling Client’s affairs, client’s money and for the general conduct of litigation and case management. Barristers cannot undertake such work.


The core of our work remains the support and service we provide to Solicitors. We aim to achieve high standards of advocacy and to provide a prompt and efficient service in delivering advice and opinion.

Licensed Access

The License access scheme brings together two schemes previously operated by the Bar – “Bardirect” and “Direct Professional Access”. The essence of the scheme is to offer organisations and individuals with appropriate expertise the opportunity to engage the skills of Barristers direct without the requirement of involving Solicitors.

The Bar Council has produced a list of organisations and bodies who may instruct Barristers direct. The list includes Accountants and tax advisors, Insolvency practitioners, Engineers Architects and Surveyors and other bodies who are deemed to have “group licences”.

A full list of the authorised licence holders may be found by following the following link:

Direct or Public Access

In certain circumstances Counsel may accept instructions direct from members of the public. Direct access is available in all areas of Civil law including:-
• Education
• Contract, Planning and housing
• Land law and landlord and tenant matters
• Licensing
• Employment
• Negligence and personal injury

The work that Barristers can do is regulated by the rules of the Bar Council and further information may be found on the Bar Council Website