Direct Public Access allows members of the public to seek help directly from a barrister without having to involve a solicitor.

A Direct Public Access barrister can provide a range of services including:

  • expert legal advice about the merits and potential outcomes of a case
  • assistance in drafting correspondence and drafting statements from litigants and witnesses
  • preparing formal court documents
  • advising on the selection of suitable experts and drafting instructions for expert witnesses
  • support in negotiation and dispute resolution
  • representation in court, tribunals or in mediations as well as attendance at employment or investigative interviews and hearings.

There are limits on the types of work that a Direct Public Access barrister can accept, in which case members of the public would need to instruct a solicitor before a barrister.

Direct Public Access barristers will have been trained and authorised by the Bar Council and therefore not all barristers are able to accept Public Access work. Hailsham Chambers is able to offer Direct Public Access barristers who are expert in Commercial Law, Professional Negligence and Costs.


Hailsham accepts Public Access instructions on a privately funded basis.  Our policy is to take payment, either by bank transfer or cheque in advance of our barristers undertaking any work.  The cost of instructing a barrister at Hailsham Chambers will depend on the complexity of the case, the seniority of counsel, the amount of work involved, and the urgency of the work. A quote will be provided which will either be based on an hourly rate or a fixed fee basis, plus VAT, depending on what is most appropriate for the case and is most cost effective. Our Direct Public Access clerk, Stuart Paley, is here to help you navigate the process and will explain the implications of instructing a barrister privately, and the likely costs you will incur. He will also provide you with information about the likely key stages and timescales involved.

If you instruct a barrister at Hailsham Chambers on an hourly rate basis, then the rate that will be charged for your case will be agreed with you in advance.

Our indicative hourly rates are as follows:

Barristers of 5 – 10 years of experience: £200 to £250 plus VAT

Barristers of 10 – 15 years of experience: £250 to £400 plus VAT

Barristers of 15+ years of experience: £400 to £750 plus VAT

In the absence of unusual circumstances, the costs of instructing a barrister at Hailsham Chambers will be limited to either the amount of the fixed fee agreed for the piece of work, or will be covered by the fees charged at an hourly rate.

No additional costs will be incurred without your prior approval.

Key Stages in instructing a Direct Public Access Barrister

Step 1. Submit an enquiry via, marked for the attention of Stuart Paley, our Direct Public Access designated Clerk with as much information as possible about your case. He will use this to note any deadlines, estimate costs and to identify the best Direct Access Barrister for you.

Step 2. After carefully reviewing your email, Stuart or a colleague will get in touch to confirm whether we have a Direct Access barrister who is available within the timescale required and has the relevant skills and experience to take on your case. This will happen within 7 days. Stuart will then explain the process in more detail.

In some cases, you will have a preliminary meeting or phone call with one of our barristers at this stage. The purpose of this phone call is to understand more about your case and for them to assess whether direct instruction is appropriate.

Step 3. Once terms have been agreed in principle and a barrister assigned, you will be sent a ‘client care letter’ within 48 hours. This sets out in detail the work you have requested, what that specific barrister will be able to do and the fee/cost for this work.

This must be paid in full before the Direct Access Barrister is permitted to start any work.

Step 4. If you want to go ahead, please return the signed letter along with a copy of your ID (Passport, Driving Licence and Proof of Address) and arrange payment as set out in our terms of business.  Work can then can start immediately.

If you would like an informal chat about how Hailsham may be able to help including a discussion of possible costs please do not hesitate to contact Stuart on 0207 643 5000.

If you would like more information about public access, please see the Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients provided by the Bar Standards Board.



Hailsham Chambers