Anyone can go directly to a barrister without having to involve a solicitor. Barristers can advise about legal status or rights, prepare documents and can represent clients in court, tribunals or in mediations. Barristers can also negotiate on a client’s behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings.

There are limits on the types of work that a barrister can accept so there are situations where members of the public would need to instruct a solicitor before a barrister.

Not all barristers are able to accept public access work. Those at Hailsham Chambers who can are listed on the right.

To find out if accessing a barrister directly may be possible, please contact Stuart Paley, the direct access clerk.

Depending on the work involved, public access barristers may charge on an hourly rate, a brief fee and refreshers, or they may be able to agree a fixed fee. Fees will vary depending on the amount and complexity of the work, the amount of papers reviewed, the location of the dispute, and the number of parties involved, amongst other factors. When a fee quotation is provided to you, we will inform you whether that quotation includes VAT. Additional costs may be charged as they arise, such as court fees, or travel expenses. When a quotation is provided to you, it will be indicative only, and may change if the scope of work changes (for example, if more work is required due to an unexpected development).

Timescales for the work will depend on what exactly is required. For relatively low-value claims, trials may take place in a matter of months. For more complex or higher-value claims, it may be a year or more before the matter is concluded. Timescales will be affected if the claim is settled rather than proceeding to a final determination in court. If a decision is appealed, matters will take longer.

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



Hailsham Chambers