Direct Access

What is Public Access?

Public Access Rules came into force in July 2004, this rule change allows you to instruct a barrister direct without the need for a solicitor, there will be occasions where it would not be appropriate for a barrister to assist you direct, you will be signposted to solicitor firms able to assist you when this happens.


 What type of work can a public access barrister do?

We have a team of qualified public access barristers dealing in the following types of work:

  •  Criminal Law (where it is privately paid)
  • Regulatory Law
  • Licensing
  • Professional Discipline matters
  • Road Traffic Offences
  • Police Discipline
  • Courts Martial
  • Family Law
  • Matrimonial Law
  • Employment Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Chancery Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Public and Administrative Law including Judicial Review
  • Property and Planning Law
  • Contractual Law
  • Intellectual Property disputes


If you are unsure what area of law your case falls within please contact our clerks at or telephone 0151 236 4421, we aim to respond within 48 hours, within the normal working week (Monday to Friday)


How does the public access process work?

When you contact Chambers we are likely to need some very basic information from you and would ask that you complete our public access information form which will be emailed to you, we can arrange to send this in an alternative format if required.

Once we have this information we will then be in a position with the barrister concerned to assess if you will require a solicitor, this will usually take less than 7 days.


We would expect your case to follow this path:

  1. You contact Chambers
  2. Within 48 hours we send you a public access information form
  3. Upon receipt of the form as assessment of your case takes place
  4. Within a 7-day time frame we either:
    • Accept your case;
    • Signpost you to appropriate solicitor firms for assistance,
  5. If we agree to accept your case we will then:
    • Agree the work required;
    • Agree a timescale for the work;
    • Send you a client care letter specifying what has been agreed
    • Upon receipt of a signed letter the work will be carried out in accordance with what has been agreed;
    • If we need more time (or less time) you will be notified straight away, we will arrange to return part of the fee to you where we do not need the full timescale originally agreed.  If we do however need  more time you will be advised of this and advised of the likely additional costs involved so that you can then decide what you would like to do. 


What will it cost?

The cost of a public access case will depend on a number of factors. They include:

  • The quantity of documents
  • The work you need the barrister to do for you which can include it assisting you in drafting statements, court forms and sifting evidence, his is likely to cost you more than it would if they are simply advising on the hearing
  • The length of the hearing
  • Seniority of barrister
  • Location of the case
  • Complexity of the case
  • The time it may take to prepare
  • Any additional research that may be required

We will always provide you with a clear pricing structure for handling your case and we will return your documents to you free of charge if you decide you don't want to use our services having provided that pricing to you. You will be asked to pay in advance.

If your case requires any additional work we will contact you in advance, to provide an explanation and give you the likely costs involved so that you may decide.

Generally our barristers would provide you with a fixed fee which would be inclusive of vat unless otherwise stated, however we are able to provide hourly rates if you prefer. Whatever agreement is reached will be specified in our client care letter to you, this forms the contract between you and the barrister instructed.  

We do not accept debit or credit card payments, the most secure efficient method is by BACS transfer, if this is not convenient for you we would be happy to receive payment by cheque. 

Our public access barristers pricing starts from £125.00 plus vat per hour and rises depending on the factors listed above. you can discuss this in more detail with our clerks.

Any additional costs will be set out in an agreement and included in advance. The most likely additional costs are:-

  • Reasonable travel expenses where a hearing or meeting is in a court that is more than 50 miles from one of our Chambers. This will charged at the rate of a standard fare rail ticket or 45p per mile if driving.
  • You may also have Court Fees to pay. A list of Court Fees can be found here:-
  • You may have to instruct an expert. Fees for experts vary dramatically depending on the expertise that is required (Surveyor, Planner, Medical Expert, Building Expert, Financial Expert etc) and the type of report (for example, a typical private medical report may cost approximately £750, but where that report is from a renowned expert in a very specific area of medical expertise it can cost several thousand pounds). Your barrister will be able to better advise you on this based on your case and the need for any such report.


Possible additional costs can typically include travel and hotel as detailed above, court fees, experts fees, photocopying (although it is unlikely you will be charged for this).  We would expect to be in a position to identify any likely additional costs with you from the outset.


What services can our public access barristers provide?

  1. Advisory work - our barristers can advise you on your case, the prospects of the case and what steps need to take place.
  2. Drafting of documents - our barristers can draft legal documents, court forms, orders, letters or contracts.
  3. Correspondence - our barristers can correspond with the other-side of the case on our behalf or they can assist you in preparing correspondence for you to send.
  4. Negotiation - our barristers will be your voice and negotiate on your behalf.
  5. Represent you - our barristers will represent you in court in the same way they do if instructed by a solicitor.


Get in touch

If you would like to discuss your case get in touch with our clerks at or telephone 01512364421, they will be happy to help.


 To assist you in understanding the procedures we have some useful likes here:


  • The Bar Council's Public Access website

  •  The Bar Council's Public Access Directory:

  •  The Bar Standards Board's Public Access Guidance:

  •  The Bar Standards Board's Rules relating to public access:


 Members of Atlantic Chambers direct access team

  • Elizabeth Isaacs QC
  • Nigel Ginniff
  • Gareth Thomas
  • Nicholas Ryan
  • Simon Booth 
  • Celia Lund
  • Graham Sellers
  • Amanda Howard
  • Andrew Banks
  • Charles Prior
  • Kenneth Delaney
  • Sophie Smith
  • Carl Gorton
  • David Tinkler
  • Martin Mensah
  • Rebecca Ackerley
  • Olivia Cox
  • James Patience
  • Shannon Eastwood




Christine Johnson 1

Year of call: 1991

Inn: Middle Temple

Area: Family


Year of call: 1978

Inn: Middle Temple

Area: Criminal
Public Law
Clinical Negligence
Civil Litigation
Industrial Disease
Proceeds of Crime


Year of call: 1999

Inn: Lincoln's Inn

Area: Criminal