What is Direct Access

In general a person may now instruct a barrister directly without going to the additional expense of engaging a solicitor as well.  In practice this means that both individuals and legal persons, such as companies or associations, are free to benefit immediately from our expertise and efficiency without intermediaries and added costs.  Under the Direct Access scheme you only pay for the barrister and you know the cost up–front. You can also ‘switch’ to a barrister instructed on this basis where you initially instructed a solicitor.

You can read more about instructing a Barrister direct on the Bar Standards Board website. You can also read the BSB Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients here.

What can 36 Public and Human Rights (’36 P&HR’) do for you?

Our members are able to provide expert advice, draft documents and act as advocates on your behalf in courts, tribunals, arbitrations, mediations and other situations where you are permitted to have someone speak on your behalf such as disciplinary proceedings. We are often asked to provide a confidential second opinion by individuals and businesses who already have a full legal team on board but just want to confirm that the advice they are receiving is correct.

At 36 P&HR, as with all members of the 36 Group, we provide help before as well as after any dispute. We can draft representations and applications to relevant bodies such as professional or market regulators, employers or disciplinary bodies, the Home Office or Ministry of Justice, and/or specialist courts or tribunals, in or sometimes outside England and Wales or the United Kingdom.

We are also able to provide a litigation risk analysis by auditing existing policies or legal arrangements and workplace schemes and giving advice as to how we think they could be improved.  In the long term this could be money well spent.

What areas of work are covered by members of 36 P&HR under Direct Access arrangements?

The main areas of specialisation within 36 P&HR include education, housing, immigration, nationality and asylum law, as well as other public law, human rights and judicial review work..  In principle work within any of these can be done under Direct Access arrangements.  36 P&HR is of course part of the larger 36 Group and some of our members, including those taking part in Direct Access, belong to more than one group, for instance doing employment or civil law.  This can be discussed if and when you speak to one of our Senior Public Clerks (below).

How Can I Instruct a 36 Group Barrister?

In the first instance you should contact one of our Senior Public Clerks- Charlie Labrum (Senior Public Business Development Clerk) or Phil Silverman (Senior Public Diary Clerk) by telephone on 020 7421 8052 or email via clerks@36public.co.uk. You can instruct any barrister who chooses to offer services on a Direct Access basis- see column at left of this screen.

Our Senior Public Clerks will aim to arrange instruction of a barrister within 24 hours of your call and usually manage to do so on the day of first contact.  They have years of experience in helping our clients find the right barrister for them. They will have a preliminary discussion with you about your requirements and may wish to see some relevant copy documents from you before directing your case to a barrister. 36 P&HR uses modern integrated documentary systems. You will be able to email, scan, post or hand–deliver any documents to us.

Once we are clear as to your requirements, one of the Senior Public Clerks will locate the right barrister for you.  If this barrister agrees that your case is suitable for Direct Access, you and the barrister will agree the terms on which he or she is to carry out the work.  At this stage you will also get a clear indication as to fees and time–scale for the completion of the work.  These terms will be set out in a client care letter which will be sent to you for your signature.

You can also choose a barrister yourself.  Our Senior Public Clerks will try to accommodate your preferences but sometimes our Clerks may suggest a better match for your case.  All discussions are aimed to ensure that you obtain the most appropriate advice or representation given your individual circumstances.

How Much Will It Cost Me?

The main advantage of instructing a barrister under a Direct Access arrangement is that you only pay for one lawyer and we charge a fixed fee for each piece of work.  All fees are normally agreed with you in advance. For a quotation for legal services, or to get an idea of indicative fees, please contact us. All fees are subject to VAT.

In complex cases it may not be possible to agree the fee in advance. In these cases your barrister will give an estimate and he or she may also agree not to charge more than a certain sum for the work.

Our fees are representative of the excellence of the expert advice and representation we offer. We always strive to provide excellent service and value for money.



Telephone: 020 7421 8000 or 020 7421 8052 (out of hours 07759 704041)

Email – Clerks: clerks@36public.co.uk

Email – Fees Clerks:  publicfees@36group.co.uk

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