Public access

Instructing a barrister via Public Access / Direct Access

The barristers at XXIV Old Buildings are instructed by a wide range of companies, professional organisations, legal professionals and also, in some instances, the public via the Public Access Scheme (also known as the Direct Access Scheme).

The Public Access Scheme allows barristers at XXIV Old Buildings to accept instructions directly from members of the public without the need for a solicitor.

If you have an enquiry relevant to the practice areas in which our members operate and wish to instruct a barrister directly, the following guidance will help you understand the process and how we can assist.

Please contact the practice management team on +44(0)20 7691 2424 or if you have any queries.

Fee and time parameters

The initial step to instructing a barrister directly will always be to contact our practice management team who can:

  • Advise you on the experience, availability and suitability of the barristers at XXIV Old Buildings who accept work under the Public Access Scheme
  • Discuss particular issues relating to how you instruct us
  • Provide you with the hourly rate charges for the barrister you wish to engage as part of the selection process
  • Discuss fees pursuant to the instructions and relevant information presented by you as the client to set out a fixed price for the initial work
  • Upon the fee being approved, we will provide you with details to pay counsel before commencing with the work
  • In the event of circumstances in which fees may vary, and likely increase, liaise in advance of the work being undertaken to discuss the additional cost that will be charged either on a further fixed fee or hourly rate basis by the barrister
  • Unless specified, VAT will be applicable to counsel’s fees
  • In addition to professional fees, there may be costs to be paid, such as travel or accommodation or other incidental expenses. VAT will be added if applicable.
  • All information will be set out pursuant to the terms under our client care letter of engagement which you must sign and return

Terms of business

If one of our barristers agrees to accept your instruction under the Public Access Scheme, we will require ID documentation from you in order to carry out Anti-Money Laundering checks.

In all cases, we will require:

  • Photographic ID (such as a full UK driving licence or passport); and
  • A recent utility bill at your current address (which must not be dated more than three months before your enquiry).

If you are acting on behalf of a company, you will also be required to produce a certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation, evidence that you are authorised to act on behalf of the company, and a copy of the company’s latest statutory accounts filed at Companies House.

Further guidance is available from The Bar Council, or the Bar Standards Board.

Upon request, all of our information can be made available in hard copy format.