Services for members of the public
Since July 2004, when the Public Access Rules came into effect, members of the public have been able 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 download and complete the Direct Access Instruction Form and return this to Chambers by email to email@example.com or by post to 7 Staple Inn Chambers, Holborn Bars, London, WC1V 7QH. Please mark your correspondence “Public Access Instruction”. A member of our clerking team will confirm receipt of your completed form 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. Many Public Access barristers in the 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 quote provided will either be on an hourly rate or fixed fee, subject to what is most appropriate for the case and cost effective. A reasonable quote will be provided taking into account all the circumstances of the case estimating preparation time and hearing time required for your case. There may be additional costs for travel or copying of original documents. The current rate of VAT will be added to all fees (unless exemptions apply).
Please note the provision of a quote 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 seek not to exceed the amount we have quoted without prior client authority.
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 a recent article written by Alistair MacDonald QC, former Chair of the Bar Council, here.