We offer Public Access services, which means that we can take people’s cases directly without having to be instructed by their solicitor.
Did you know you can instruct a barrister yourself? This is called Public Access. It can mean you avoid the cost of instructing a solicitor. However, it can also mean you will need to do more of your own paperwork and it isn’t suitable for every case. All barristers undertaking public access work must comply with rules C119 to 131 (barstandardsboard.org.uk) of their Code of Conduct when assessing the suitability of cases for Public Access.
Public Access is open to individual members of the public as well as business clients. We are required under BSB regulations to undertake standard checks on your ID and Financial status, the same that any Solicitor would do should you instruct them. You will be required to provided 2 forms of ID, including photographic, and provide proof of your financial status for making payment.
We are keen to provide open and transparent information in relation to fees. With our Public Access work, there are no hidden costs — in most cases you will pay a fixed fee for a specific piece of work, agreed in advance, unless features of the case require an hourly rate fee structure. Full information will be given by our clerks or Barristers during consultation and fees generated will be backed up with Barristers’ written log of work done, timed and dated.
A clear and transparent formal agreement between barrister and client will be drawn up setting out the services to be provided, the fees which have been agreed and payment terms along with our Client Care Letter.
Timeframes for generic purposes
Response by Barrister to prospective PA Client following initial email — 24 hours
Conference (to determine suitability under the scheme) — 48 hours
Acknowledgement letters — no less than 7 days
Chambers to book and provide Remote conference with Barrister — no less than 2 working weeks
Chambers to identify a face-to-face conference date with Barrister — no less than a month
Written Advice on the law and procedure after instructions and paperwork to be provided — within 21 days
NB: The above timetable will differ due to the area of specialisation, complexity of the case, the specific nature and the specific instructions of the client. These are only given as indicative and should not be seen as accurate timeframes, the Senior Clerk will confirm these once all information has been received.
What can we do for you?
Several of our barristers are accredited to provide Public Access legal services. They are experts in their field of law. They can:
- offer you legal opinions and advice
- draft legal documents for you
- represent you in court.
Which barristers offer Public Access?
Our Barristers at Bank House Chambers specialise in Crime, Family, Civil, Regulatory and Public Law. Above you will see our Public Access Team listed by specialisation for your ease. There is also a table providing the timeframes generically you can expect. Linked to each name will be a PDF document of each of their indicative costs. These are only estimated as explained in ‘What Factors’ as well as here:
- the area/s of law in which that barrister offers Public Access work
- how their fee model works
- typical timescales for the work they do, and how/why this might vary
- indicative costs for sample types of work (such as written advice, hearings and trial fees), and how/why these could vary
- All barristers at Bank House Chambers other than Probationary Tenants and Pupils are registered for Value Added Tax and this will be added to their professional fees. They are also regulated by the Bar Standards Board, insured by the Bar Mutual Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme and are Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Officer, and maintain the highest standards with reference to data storage and GDPR protection.
What factors are taken into account when assessing and proposing barristers’ fees and timescales?
As stated above each Barrister will state their area(s) of specialisation(s). As general guidance the list below sets out typical factors that will be taken into account when assessing fees:
- Apparent complexity of the case
- Seniority of the barrister required
- Circumstances of the case (whether it is of public importance)
- Volume of documentation and the likely preparation time
- Potential length of engagement in the case overall
- If any trial proceedings are involved
Timescales for Barristers’ provision of their assistance will be affected by:
- Nature of the case
- Availability of the barrister and other professional commitments he/she may have
- Timely provision of instructions and other documentation
- Case complexity and volume of materials to be read
- Fares will vary due to the complexity and type of the cases.
Want to explore Public Access with us?
- Start by giving our clerks a call on 0114 275 1223;
- They’ll ask for details about you, your case, help you in assessing the appropriate counsel for your case which they’ll then forward to the barrister;
- The barrister may decide to call you to discuss your suitability of your case for Public Access or they may require extra information;
- Next, they’ll decide whether they can accept your case;
- If so, they’ll seek to give you a fixed-fee quote if possible for the work required detailing what will be included both verbally and in writing, usually via email;
- If you agree to the quote and are happy to proceed, the barrister will send out the Client Care Letter, we will ask you for 2 forms of identification with a photograph and payment, and we’ll ask you to sign a client care letter;
- Once your ID has been verified and payment has been received in advance then your barrister can begin working on your case;
- If at any stage any additional work is required, fees detailing the work will be discussed with you in advance and agreed and paid in advance before any work is undertaken. Any additional work agreed to be done may require a further agreement between you and the barrister;
- All fees are subject to VAT at 20%.
Bank House Chambers and all Member of Chambers recognise and comply with the following Regulatory Guidance from the Bar Standard Board: Price Transparency Policy Statement (July 2019), Transparency Standards Guidance and Rules C164-C169 of the BSB Handbook, if sufficient information has been provided by the client, and the barrister would be willing to provide the legal services quotations must be provided within a reasonable time period, and in clear and readily understandable terms.
The client must also accept that there will be checks on their identity as they will not have had these verified by a solicitor.