Direct Public Access, Arbitration & Mediation
Members of the public, commercial and non-commercial organisations are now able to instruct Barristers directly. St Pauls Chambers has 26 Barristers qualified to accept public access clients. We have a specialist department offering bespoke Corporate Services under the direct access scheme.
The Direct Legal Gateway
The Bar is changing with the modern world. Barristers are no longer distant, expensive and unapproachable. Instructing a 'magic circle' or 'first division' law firm can often prove to be a very expensive exercise.
St Pauls Chambers provides a full range of legal services direct from specialist advisors and advocates.
Your legal requirements can be addressed swiftly and cost effectively and most importantly, on a direct one to one basis.
The fees you are charged will be determined up-front and will often a fixed daily-fee for attedance at courts and trinunals. There are no hidden costs and no open-ended bills.
Payments can now be made via Credit or Debit Card.
St Pauls'Corporate Services is a bespoke service offered by barristers from St Pauls Chambers. It provides the public and private clients with direct access and represenataion across the full range of corporate activity.
What is Public Access?
Regulation of Barristers in self-employed practice has been amended to permit Barristers to undertake work on direct instructions from lay clients, without the need for a Solicitor or other professional client to be instructed. Barristers can now accept instructions from members of the public.
What are the advantages of the Public Access scheme?
The main advantage of the Public Access scheme is that it could potentially save you money whilst giving you access to the Bar, since you would be paying for a barrister only instead of a Barrister and Solicitor. However, although the barrister would be able to deal with most aspects of the case, you could have to assist in some limited areas, generally with filing documents with the court.
Is my case suitable for Public Access?
The latest news on public access (March 2013) Barristers may now accept clients on criminal cases. Before this, barristers were not permitted to accept instructions from a client facing criminal charges if the client was eligable for legal aid. In a nutshell, this was everybody.
Public Access is available in all types of work. If you are not sure whether your case would be suitable for Public Access, you should contact Chambers and speak to one of the clerks. If the Barrister considers that your case would benefit from the involvement of a Solicitor, he or she will inform you.
In most cases you will be encouraged to attend a 30 minute consultation (in person or by telephone) with one of our Barristers. There is NO CHARGE for this. You will not receive legal advice at this consultation but you will be advised on the next stages available to you and it may provide you with some direction to move your case forward.
What is the difference between services offered by a Barrister and a Solicitor?
Barristers specialise in providing expert legal advice, advocacy and the drafting of documents.
The services offered by Barristers are different from those offered by Solicitors for two main reasons.
First the different service offered:
Barristers are trained as specialist advisers and advocates. This means that they become involved where expert legal advice is needed, where documents need to be drafted for their client's use, or for advocacy (presenting a case in court or before some other tribunal or organisation).
Solicitors also give advice and draft documents for their clients. Some Solicitors also provide advocacy services to their clients, although many prefer to instruct a Barrister to do this.
Secondly, by law, Barristers are not able to provide some of the services that Solicitors offer. On the other hand, some Solicitors do not themselves provide advocacy services. At present only a Solicitor may conduct litigation and take formal steps that are necessary to progress in action. Your Barrister will advise you if he or she considers that anything you want done is something that only a Solicitor can provide.
Who has to do the work the barrister is not permitted to do?
The work the barristers are not permitted to do will have to be carried out by you. You will be given assistance at all stages and your barrister will be available to contact if you have a problem.
What happens next?
If you decide that the public access scheme is the best way forward for your case, you will be encouraged to have a consultation with your barrister. This meeting will be charged at an hourly rate and can be capped or fixed at your request. You will be required to provide your barrister with the paperwork and relevant correspondence in your case and thereafter you will be given our client care letter which sets out the Terms and conditions of the engagement between you and your barrister. Your case will scoped and for the specific requirements/stages of your case, you will be provided with an estimate of costs. Your payments can be made in stages in accordance with the pieces of work you are requiring you barrister to undetake. We can take card payments by telephone or you may make a BACS transfer. All fees will be subject to VAT charges.