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Public Access Service

There has been a change in the law enabling members of the public to get legal advice or representation directly from a Barrister.

How it works:

Please complete our  “Public Access Enquiry Form” to help us start the process to assist you, once we receive your completed form a member of the team will contact you.

If you cannot fill in the online form, please briefly outline your case and send via an email to

A helpful guide to The Public Access Scheme and how it works can be found using the link here Bar Standards Board

The full details of how the Public Access Scheme works are set out below.

The rules governing Public Access to Barristers have changed. Members of the public may now go directly to a Barrister. The existing Licensed Public Access Scheme gives direct access to Barristers to professional clients such as chartered accountants and surveyors.

Oriel Chambers presently has 10 Barristers qualified for Public Access cases (as set out below).

If you are interested in engaging one of our Barristers who is qualified to provide services via the Public Access Scheme please complete the  Public Access Barrister request form. Once the online form is completed, we will receive this by email. It will then be forwarded to the appropriate Barristers to assess whether they can assist on your particular matter. If you have specifically asked for a particular Public Access Barrister to look at your matter then the form will be forwarded to that Barrister. We will then aim to contact you within a few days to let you know if we can help.

If you do decide to instruct one of our Barristers under the Public Access Scheme they will require copies of two forms of official identification, for example a driving licence and a recent utility bill or formal identification document identifying residence at an address in the UK. If you are acting on behalf of a company, you will be required to produce a certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation, the latest accounts filed at Companies House and evidence that you are authorised to act on behalf of the company.

Give us a call on 0151 236 7191 and have a chat with Paul Thompson, our dedicated clerk, who will be able to help you decide whether a Public Access Barrister is the right approach for you. Alternatively you can fill in our Public Access Enquiry Form and somebody will be in touch very shortly.

Public Access Barristers

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I know that the Barristers in Oriel Chambers are fully qualified?

There are rules in place to make sure that all Barristers providing legal services direct to the public are fully qualified. The Bar Standards Board, as the independent regulator of Barristers, sets those rules. All of the Public Access Barristers at Oriel Chambers have been trained by a regulated trainer and are fully accredited. The Barristers are also fully insured in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Q: What is the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor ?

Barristers and Solicitors are all lawyers, but they are different types of lawyers.
Barristers are self employed and Solicitors are not. Barristers group together for economy and marketing under one roof which is called a ‘Chambers’. Solicitors are primarily litigators and they conduct the out of court side of the case – this can mean meeting the client, working out what the case is about, sorting out the paperwork, communicating with the other sides’ Lawyers and the court.
Barristers spend most of their time in court.

Q. Do I need a Solicitor?

Not all cases are appropriate for going straight to a Public Access Barrister. If your case involves collecting evidence from various people or obtaining lots of reports from experts, or if your case has large volumes of paperwork or court bundles to prepare then you may need a Solicitor to do this work. A Solicitor can take care of the administrative side of your case whereas a Barrister will advise you and present your case in court. We can let you know whether a Solicitor is needed and help you decide the best way to proceed.

Q. What do I do if I want to complain about the service I have received or a Barrister?

You should directly contact your Barrister if you want to make a complaint.
We will provide you with a copy of our complaints procedure when we accept your instructions. The complaints procedure contains the information you require to make a complaint and also information about what to do if you are unhappy about the way your Barrister handles that complaint. We will take your complaint seriously and do all we can to resolve matters.

Q. What are the costs of instructing a Public Access Barrister at Oriel Chambers?

The price will depend on the seniority of the Barrister you’re working with and what work needs to be done. At Oriel Chambers we have Barristers in many specialist areas and different levels of experience. The fee you pay depends on the level of Barrister appropriate for your particular needs and resources.
We like to be as open and upfront about our prices as possible but each case is unique and in each case the work required will be different. We will do all that we can to work with you to find the right Barrister at the right cost for you and we will always let you know our fees in advance.
Fees must be agreed in advance and paid before the Barrister will undertake the work.

Q. What do I do to get the things moving?

Give us a call on 01512367191 and have a chat with Paul Thompson, our dedicated clerk, who will be able to help you decide whether a Public Access Barrister is the right approach for you. Alternatively you can fill in our online “Public Access Enquiry Form” and somebody will be in touch very shortly.