Direct Access to a Barrister

A number of Barristers at 9 St John Street Chambers can now offer their legal services directly to anyone without the need for a solicitor to be involved.

The Public Access scheme allows members of the Public, and commercial and non-commercial organisations to instruct Barristers directly on most matters.

We have Barristers with a broad range of expertise and experience to cover a variety of cases and budgetary requirements.

The Barrister’s role remains essentially the same as when they are approached by a solicitor and they can advise you on your legal status or rights. Barristers can assist in drafting correspondence for you to send and can represent you in court, tribunals or mediations. Barristers can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings where appropriate.

We are happy to discuss your enquiry with you and assess whether it is suitable for Public Access.

Examples of work Barristers are not allowed to undertake includes: handling your money, corresponding with the other side, issuing court documents on your behalf, contacting witnesses or collecting and investigating evidence. For further information, please see the Guidance for Barristers on Conducting Litigation from the Bar Standards Board.

If we're unable to take on your case, we may be able to point you in the direction of a solicitor or other organisation who can help.

As a guide, paperwork and advisory work takes anywhere between 7 - 28 days depending on a number of factors including:

  • Availability of Counsel and/or their professional commitments;
  • Availability of the client or relevant third parties such as experts and witnesses;
  • The complexity of the case;
  • The volume of documentation;
  • The need for additional information, documents or clarification;
  • The approach taken by the other side;
  • Third parties intervening in the case; and
  • Court responses and waiting times.

However, shorter deadlines may be achievable. Please make the clerks aware of any impending deadlines so consideration can be given to your timescales when trying to allocate you a Barrister.

Court hearings from issue to a hearing or trial tend to take anywhere between 6 to 24 months excluding any possible appeals.

Public Access is a cost effective, transparent process which allows you to contact a Barrister directly.

Public Access cases are often charged at barristers' commercial hourly rates which are competitive in the legal marketplace. In some cases and where it is appropriate, work may be charged on a fixed fee basis. Fees are dependent upon a number of factors including but not limited to (1) the type of case (2) the complexity (3) the documentation (4) the work involved and (5) the seniority of the Barrister.

As a guide you could typically expect to pay the following rates per hour according to level of Call:


KC £400 - £600
20 years plus £275 - £400
10-15 years £200 - £275
7 – 10 years £175 - £200
3 – 5 years £125 - £175
Second Six Pupil – 3 years £80 - £125

Please note, all information is correct as of 2020, but our hourly rates as set out above are estimates for information only. For a quote, please contact the clerks on 0161 955 9000. All our fees are exclusive of VAT.

There will be no hidden additional costs. Any additional costs will be agreed and set out clearly in the client care letter provided to you. The most likely additional cost is reasonable travel expenses where a hearing or meeting is in a court or area outside of Manchester City Centre.

Under the Public Access Scheme, our fees are paid in full prior to the Barrister carrying out any work.

You should complete the Public Access Inquiry Form and email it to the relevant inbox (see below).  This will then be forwarded on your behalf to a Public Access Barrister in the relevant practice area for review. If we are able to accept your case we will send you a client care letter setting out what work we will do and the cost for doing so. 

Only when you have given your agreement, by returning a signed copy of the client care letter and forwarding payment will the agreed work begin.

If it’s about Public Access work, in the first instance you should contact us by email to the relevant inbox using the Public Access Inquiry Form (see below).

If you need to speak to one of our clerking team, you can reach us on 0161 955 9000. Our opening hours are between 9am and 6pm (Monday to Friday).

Please complete the Public Access Inquiry Form and send to us by email at the following addresses:

The Bar Standards Board’s 'Public Access Guidance' document will explain how the scheme works and show you how you can use it.

In order to find a barrister qualified to undertake public access work, please see our Public Access Directory below.

Commercial and Chancery

Criminal, Regulatory and Professional Disciplinary

Employment Law


Personal Injury