Members of the general public can, in many cases, instruct a specialist barrister for legal advice and/or representation without first having to engage a solicitor.

The Bar Direct Public Access Scheme (Direct Access) can enable clients to make significant financial savings over the traditional method of obtaining the services of a barrister.

New Court Chambers considers itself one of the pioneers in this type of work and prides itself on offering its Direct Access Clients the highest possible quality service that is professional, cost-effective and tailored to the individual needs of the client.

The Bar Council (which regulates barristers) has information about the Direct Access programme available on its website. Not every case is suitable for Direct Access but our clerks will be able to direct you to one of our barristers who will be able to consider the suitability of your case for Direct Access and if so, to take on your case.

In brief a ‘Direct Access’ Barrister can:

  • Represent a client in courts and tribunals
  • Provide specialist legal advice including a Second Opinion
  • Draft correspondence, statements and other such documents required by the Court
  • Advise on the use and instruction of experts in certain cases

 

The current rules prevent barristers carrying out certain, largely administrative, tasks which the client will have to do themselves in the absence of a Solicitor. These tasks will be fully explained to you.  However, some direct access barristers are also authorised to conduct litigation which means that they are able to do much of the administrative work in a case that a solicitor would otherwise carry out.

New Court Chambers has a large team of specialist family law barristers and can offer a wide range of experience to suit each individual case. The cost will depend entirely on the seniority of the barrister, the complexity of the case and the amount of work you instruct your barrister to do and how much of the work you are able to do yourself. All fees are required to be paid in advance before the barrister is able to carry out the work you want him or her to do.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Why might I go to a Barrister rather than a Solicitor?

Barristers are highly skilled lawyers who specialise in providing legal advice and advocacy in the Courts. They work day in, day out, in the courts and do not have the office distractions of a Solicitors’ firm to manage. They do their own work and your case will therefore be ‘owned’ by the Barrister rather than perhaps a Secretary or Paralegal. Even the very best Solicitors instruct Barristers to argue their cases before Judges, advise them on tactics and the law and draft the complex paperwork necessary to put before the Court. Using Direct Public Access means you will, almost certainly, only need to instruct the Barrister – the lawyer who will present your case in court – rather than a Solicitor as well.

Is my case suitable for Direct Public Access?

Not every case is suitable for Direct Public Access. For instance, Barristers cannot work for clients directly when they form the professional opinion that the client needs a Solicitor to help them prepare their case, handle their paperwork or manage their funds. Public Access Clients must be willing and able to carry out the routine administrative tasks that otherwise they would have to pay a Solicitor to do for them, unless they instruct a direct access Barrister who is authorised to ‘conduct litigation.’

How will my Barrister work?

Barristers are not Solicitors and work in a different way. Barristers will expect to receive from you any paperwork in good order and in good time to enable them to prepare your case. They are not available to provide day-to-day advice and information on the state of the case. They will not necessarily ‘conduct’ your case. That will be your job. You will be paying your Barrister to provide you with expert legal advice and representation at court.

What can my Barrister do for me?

Because they are expert lawyers your Barrister will be able to give you the answers you want faster than might otherwise be the case. They will be able to tell whether your case has merit. They will be able to draft expertly the key documents in the case and negotiate with the other side’s lawyers. Their job will be to handle your case professionally and resolve your difficulty as quickly as possible with the minimum of fuss and expense.

How do I instruct a Barrister directly?

The first step is to ring the Clerks at New Court or email them by clicking on ‘Contact Us’ above. Give them a brief summary of your case and the key information they will need to know to identify whether one of our Barristers can help you – the date of any court hearings, any deadlines you need to work towards, the key issues in the case in much the same way a solicitor would if they wanted to brief a Barrister on behalf of a client. If the clerks think your case may be suitable for Direct Public Access work they will pass the papers to a Barrister who may ring you for a free ‘no obligation’ discussion. It will then be up to you whether you wish to make a formal ‘booking’ for a conference, a written advice or representation at any hearings. If you make a formal booking you and your Barrister will agree terms in a formal ‘Client Care Letter’. If you would like to see a Draft Client Care Letter in advance please ask the Clerks.

What sets New Court Chambers apart from other sets of family barristers?

New Court Chambers is a highly respected London chambers that specialises entirely in Family Law dealing with the full range of work including public and private child law, matrimonial finance, cohabitation claims and Court of Protection work.  As a result New Court Chambers only has Barristers who are experts in their respective areas of work. The way New Court works gives you the assurance that you will only get first rate advice at a reasonable, and realistic cost. New Court Barristers work primarily in London and the ‘South-East’ and have enormous experience of the region’s Judges. New Court Chambers’ Barristers are fully insured and hugely experienced in working for leading family solicitors and public authorities.

Where can I get more information?

The Bar Council publishes up to date guidance on the Direct Access rules on their website. You will always be advised to read these before you instruct a Barrister so you can make the right decision. The Bar Standards Board also produces guidelines which you might also wish to read.

 

Direct Access Team

Dr Giuseppe Calà

Dr Giuseppe Calà


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Elissa Da Costa-Waldman

Elissa Da Costa-Waldman


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Sarah McMeechan

Sarah McMeechan


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Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw


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Wing Yan Chan

Wing Yan Chan


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Sally Jackson

Sally Jackson


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Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson


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Katherine Couper

Katherine Couper


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Kathryn Blair

Kathryn Blair


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Alyssa Howard

Alyssa Howard


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Amelia Evans

Amelia Evans


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