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Public access

What is Public or Direct Access?

The Direct Access allows members of the public and businesses to seek expert legal advice from a barrister, without the need to use a solicitor first. The scheme will save you time and money in your legal matters, as well as making the process easier.

Our barristers are experts in their areas and therefore ideally placed to advise you through your legal proceedings. They are approachable and always willing to take the time to help you understand the details of your case.

Our experienced clerking team, who represent our barristers, will help identify the most suitable barrister for your case.

To get in touch with the team please fill out the form below.

Furnival Chambers’ privacy policy can be found here, and the BSB’s Public Access Guidance here.

Furnival Chambers offers Direct Access expertise in the following spheres:

  • Commercial
  • Crime
  • Employment
  • Family
  • Financial Crime/POCA
  • Sports

What can a barrister do for you under the scheme?

  • Give expert legal advice.
  • Draft documents (e.g. contracts and standard terms of business).
  • Draft letters for you to send (although a barrister may not sign or send the letter on your behalf or write on his own notepaper).
  • Advise you on the formal steps to take in proceedings.
  • Draft formal court documents (e.g. statements of claim, defences etc.) for use in those proceedings.
  • Prepare statements for litigants and witnesses from information supplied.
  • Advise on the choice of an expert witness if required and draft a letter of instruction to that expert.

What are barristers not allowed to do?

  • Issue proceedings on your behalf or take other formal steps in proceedings.
  • Investigate or collect evidence for use in proceedings
  • Instruct an expert witness on your behalf.
  • Take responsibility for the general management of a client’s case or business affairs.
  • Handle a client funds

If you chose to instruct a Furnival Chambers barrister directly, the process is as follows:

  • Complete the enquiry form below.
  • A member of the clerking team will then contact you to obtain the relevant paperwork and instructions for review.
  • Your case will be reviewed by a Direct Access trained barrister with the correct expertise for your case.
  • If your case is suitable to advance under the Direct Access scheme you will receive a Client Care Letter (this is a contract between yourself and the barrister), which outlines the barrister’s role and limitations under the scheme, and the work to be completed. The fees will be set out clearly in the client care letter.
  • Once all the documentation is in place, your case papers and instructions have been received and the fees have been agreed, a barrister can proceed with your case.


The way our barristers charge for their work will vary, but the most commonly used pricing models are fixed fee and hourly rate.  A fixed fee is agreed in advance for a particular piece of work. It is calculated by reference to, amongst other factors, the amount of work likely to be involved but once it is agreed, the fee will not vary according to the amount of time it takes the barrister to complete the work unless the scope of the work changes significantly and you consent to the change. If you engage a barrister at their hourly rate, they will charge for the number of hours which it takes them to complete the work which they have been instructed to perform. All fees will also be subject to VAT as appropriate.

The hourly rates and fixed fees vary depending on a number of factors, but the most significant are the barrister’s expertise and standing within the profession and the complexity of the work involved in any particular case.


Our barristers are experienced in dealing with urgent matters and meeting strict deadlines. Timescales for a case can vary depending on a number of factors including availability, instruction of expert witnesses, the type and complexity of the case, the need for additional documentation and court listing.

Additional costs

In some cases barristers may incur expenses in the course of providing their services. Most commonly, these are travel and hotel costs. However, this are only incurred if necessary and often agreed in advance.

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