Public Access

Public access (also known as direct access) is the scheme which allows companies, organisations and members of the public to instruct barristers directly without having to go to a solicitor first.

Barristers must be registered on the scheme to accept such instructions and there are a number of special rules which apply, all of which are explained in guidance published by the Bar Standards Board. The members of 11KBW shown on the right hand side of this page are registered on the scheme.

In the right case, instructing one of 11KBW’s public access barristers directly could save considerable time and money. It is not just individuals who can use the scheme and Chambers welcomes inquiries from companies and other organisations who find themselves involved in litigation (actual or potential) or just in need of specialist advice.

Coming directly to an 11KBW barrister can be particularly effective in the following types of cases:

Data Protection & Freedom of Information:

  • provision of specialist advice
  • bringing or defending claims under the Data Protection Act 1998
  • appeals to the Information Tribunal


  • provision of specialist advice
  • special educational needs and disability claims in the First-tier Tribunal and subsequent appeals
  • claims against the OIA and/or higher education institutions
  • judicial review challenges


We do not accept Public Access instructions for claims based on ordinary unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, but only the more complex claims.

  • provision of specialist advice
  • preparation for and representation at employment tribunals and subsequent appeals
  • injunction and other claims in the county court and High Court

Planning & Environmental:

  • provision of specialist advice
  • statutory appeals to the High Court (s.288 and s.289 challenges)
  • claims for judicial review (of local authorities, central government and other relevant public bodies)

However, it is very important to note that barristers are not permitted to undertake litigation unless they have the correct authorisation.

The Bar Standards Board (the Bar’s regulator) considers that conducting litigation includes (but is not limited to)

  • issuing proceedings or applications (beginning court proceedings by filing details of the claim, such as the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim, at court, or making an application for a court order);
  • filing an acknowledgement of proceedings;
  • giving their address as the address for service of documents;
  • filing documents at court or serving documents on another party;
  • issuing notices of appeal (informing the court and the other side that the unsuccessful party seeks a review of the case);
  • signing off on a list of disclosure (so that all parties know of all documents which have a bearing on the case); and
  • laying of an information in a Magistrates’ court.

A further important point to note is that Counsel are not obliged to take on a case under the Public Access scheme.

Indeed the BSB Code of Conduct states that a barrister may not accept Public Access instructions if he or she forms the view that it is either in the best interests of the client or in the interests of justice for the client to instruct a solicitor or other professional client (rC120.3, BSB Handbook). This is a continuing duty which the barrister is required to keep under review during the course of a case.  This means that the case may reach a stage where the barrister must notify the client that they will need to instruct a solicitor to continue with the case.

If you are interested in instructing one of 11KBW’s public access barristers, please complete the form below.  Alternatively, you can click here to download a Word version which you can complete and email to

In the event that counsel then decide that they can help, you will be contacted and advised of a fixed fee for the work with which you are asking assistance.  If you agree to the fee, and to paying the fee in advance, you will be sent a Terms of Engagement letter which will set out exactly what counsel is going to do for you, the cost and the timing.  The terms of engagement letter will also set out a timetable for the work to be undertaken, which is usually, but not always, within two weeks.

Should further work or assistance with your case be required, counsel will again quote for the specific piece of work and send out a terms of engagement letter.  This will happen for each new instruction that counsel receives, even on the same matter.


Counsel’s fees for public access work will vary depending on the seniority of counsel, the work that they are being asked to do, and the length of time that it will take them.

You will be offered a fixed fee for the work which you are asking counsel to do (this information will be set out clearly in a “Terms and Conditions “ letter) and, if you agree to the fee, you will be asked to pay that fee in advance

Additional fees will not be charged without express agreement from the client, but  may include things such as travel and accommodation expenses, or courier/postage expenses.


You can access the BSB Price Transparency Statement here.

Direct Access - Enquiry Form

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