Direct Access

Private clients and commercial organisations who wish to consider using one of our barristers direct, without the expense of first going to a solicitor can now do so. 

Although direct access will be the best solution in some cases, there are limitations, and it will not be better, or more cost effective, in all cases. Traditional solicitors have many areas of expertise and experience that we cannot match, and we do not seek to do so.  Our barristers are first and foremost advocates, and our services are primarily focussed on advocacy.  Our barristers do their work in court. Many cases require a high proportion of office based preparation over a significant period of time ; these cases will always be better suited to the traditional approach of solicitor involvement throughout the case, including instruction of barristers by the solicitor as and when required.

What Citadel promise is we will always advise you, at the outset, whether or not we think direct access is right for your case.

We offer two levels of service for those who want to instruct us directly :

Direct Access

This is for cases where it is suitable for the barrister of your choice to carry out all the legal work required. These are likely to be shorter cases where the amount of pre-hearing background work required to present the case is very limited. The majority of our barristers are licensed by the Bar Council to accept such direct access instructions. In appropriate cases, you can ask a barrister to advise you on a wide range of legal problems, or represent you at Court in both criminal and civil proceedings or at a tribunal hearing. Many individuals, businesses and organisations regard this as a cost-effective and time-saving process where a lot of detailed office based preparation is not required, or where the client is able, and prepared, to undertake some preparation work themselves.

Supported Direct Access

Lots of cases are not suitable to be done by a barrister alone. Detailed background work is required over a long period of time and the client may need frequent contact with those conducting the case, which is not feasible for barristers who spend the majority of the working week in court and cannot be contacted during court hearings. Further, in such cases, it would simply not be necessary, or cost effective, for a barrister to do all the preparation. In such cases the client is far better served by the involvement of a traditional firm of solicitors. 

For cases  where the requirement is predominantly advocacy, but there is some  preparation to be done, not appropriate for a barrister alone, Citadel is able to offer a unique service combining direct access with litigation support provided by a firm of solicitors that is owned by members and directors of Citadel Chambers. As the function of the firm is to help our barristers provide a more complete service, and not to make a profit on the services provided by the firm, we can offer supported direct access at very competitive rates compared with the combined cost of a traditional firm of solicitors instructing a barrister.  The cost of any support work agreed is rolled up in the barrister fee and is not an additional cost to the client.

 

Our Fees

Both levels of service are offered on a privately paying basis only. It is important to note that, at the moment, Legal Aid is not available under the either of these schemes, so if you think you might qualify and wish to make an application for Legal Aid, you should consult a solicitor.  At the moment, barristers cannot apply to the Legal Aid Agency for public funding on your behalf. 

We prefer whenever possible to offer services on the basis of a single fixed fee agreed at the outset. We find that for many clients, the greatest area of concern in instructing a lawyer is the unpredictable nature of the final bill. A fixed fee system gives our clients the certainty of knowing the end cost from day one. 

Using the services of experts of any kind is never cheap, of course, but not using an expert when one is truly required may prove far more expensive, ultimately.

We aim to be open and transparent about how we calculate fees. As a guideline we apply the following rates, although the agreed fee in an individual case may vary dependent on the complexity of the case and the seniority of the barrister of your choice.

 

Hourly Rate

Half Day Hearing

Full Day Hearing

Queens Counsel

375

1750

2500

Barrister 10 years’ experience

225

1200

1700

Barrister 5 years’ experience

175

750

1000

Whilst we give indicative rates for our barristers at all levels of experience it should be noted that the cases we accept on a direct access basis are often not by their nature hugely complex compared with the general experience of our barristers, and to that extent a barrister of 5 years’ experience would often be an appropriate choice.

Whilst we always need to see the papers before giving a final quote, in general we work on the basis that a full day hearing in court will require four hours preparation, and a half day hearing or a conference with a client will require two hours preparation.

In cases where we suggest that the best option would be direct access supported by solicitors any fee quoted for the barrister will be inclusive of the cost of the litigation support required from the firm, that additional work will not be a hidden ‘add on‘.

 We will always aim to agree a single fixed fee at the outset and will always offer a quote at the outset at no commitment to the prospective client.


Our Areas of Speciality

We accept Direct Access instructions to appear at Court hearings at all levels, and to advise in a wide variety of areas, such as :

  • Crime 
  • Immigration
  • Inquests and inquiries
  • All forms of fraud
  • Financial disputes
  • Contentious Probate
  • Road traffic 
  • All regulatory matters
  • Licensing 
  • Professional disciplinary matters
  • Sport - regulation and discipline
  • Education law
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Contractual disputes
  • Employment
  • Trading Standards
  • Health and Safety
  • Matrimonial and Family
  • Personal Injury

A further explanation of the Direct Access scheme, can be found on the Bar Council website:  www.barcouncil.org.uk/about/publicaccess/     

If you would like to enquire about consulting a barrister directly

Please contact our clerks, by telephone or e-mail.   They will explain the process to you, and should be able to tell you if your problem is likely to fall within the ambit of the Direct Access scheme.   If so, and if you decide to proceed and consult a barrister directly, the clerks will be able to advise you as to the most suitable barrister at Citadel Chambers to deal with your problem.