Services for members of the public
The Public Access Rules enable members of the public to instruct a barrister directly instead of through a solicitor, usually reducing costs significantly. The Public Access barristers at Staple Inn are able to provide advice, draft documents and appear in court. Our barristers will also always advise clients if they would benefit from the involvement of a solicitor in the preparation of their case and will help identify an appropriate firm or individual.
Members of Chambers are available to accept instructions directly from members of the public in the following areas of law:
- Possession Claims
- Homeless & Allocations
- Disrepair & Dilapidations
- Public Law & Judicial Review
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Private Sector Landlord & Tenant
- Public Sector Tenancy matters (such as succession, assignment and disability)
- Construction and Boundary disputes including Party Wall cases
- Motoring Offences
Before a barrister can decide whether or not to assist you, we need you to supply further information and details. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Staple Inn Chambers, 7 Staple Inn, Holborn Bars, London, WC1V 7QH. Please mark your correspondence “Public Access Instruction”. A member of our clerking team will be in touch within 24 hours.
The information you provide may be sufficient for a barrister to agree to take on your case and for an initial estimate of the fees likely to be incurred. Some barristers in the Public Access team offer a free 15 minute telephone discussion to talk about your requirements before you commit. This will normally be arranged within 48 hours.
A client care letter will then be issued, setting out the scope of work, the fees payable and any other conditions subject to which the work will be carried out. In some cases, it may be necessary for the barrister to hold a preliminary meeting with you before accepting the work and before a client care letter can be prepared.
The cost of instructing a barrister at Staple Inn will depend on:–
- the complexity of your case
- the amount of work involved
- the time estimate for any hearing
- the urgency of the work
- the type of hearing
- the amount of papers
- the seniority of counsel
- the distance / travel time to any hearing
The quotation provided will be for a fixed fee agreed in advance of the work being performed, unless an hourly rate would be more appropriate for the case. A reasonable quotation will be provided, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, including estimating preparation time and hearing time required for your case. As a guide, the hourly rate range is currently between £200+VAT and £450+VAT per hour. There may be additional costs for travel or copying of original documents. The current rate of VAT of 20% will be added to all fees (unless exemptions apply).
Please note the provision of a quotation is not an acceptance of instructions. An acceptance of instructions is fixed upon the signing of a public access agreement and receipt of the fee for the work. Where we provide a fixed price for a piece of work we will not exceed the amount we have quoted without your prior authority.
Timescales for completing your case will also depend on the type and complexity of the case and the availability of the barrister you wish to instruct.
You can read the Bar Standards Board Public Access Guidance here.
If you would like more information about the benefits to small and medium enterprises of the Public Access scheme, you can read an article written by Alistair MacDonald QC, former Chair of the Bar Council, here.