"What is Public Access? Can I instruct you without a Solicitor?"
What is the role of Barrister?
The UK legal profession is split into barristers and solicitors. Barristers are known for appearing in court (although there are many other services that they can provide). Barristers are specialist advocates and are mainly engaged by other lawyers. One of the benefits of using barristers is that they are independent and they provide their services personally. They work in offices, known as chambers, in order to share staff and facilities.
How is Barrister instructed?
Some Barristers cannot generally be instructed by members of the public without a solicitor but our Chambers can. Usually you would go to a solicitor about your case, then the solicitors would instruct a barrister when it is appropriate. Our Chambers however, can accept instructions directly with a solicitor, and this process is known as public access. Public access barristers have completed a specialist training course in order to handle your instructions.
Is Queens Court Chambers Public Access?
Yes. Ms Priscellia Robinson has completed the training and is allowed to be instructed directly by the public without a Solicitor.
Are all cases Public Access suitable?
No. Not all cases are public access suitable. It is also possible that a public access case may later become unsuitable whilst being dealt with as a public access case and you may be informed that a Solicitor will now need to be instructed in order for your case to be managed better.
What will my role be if the case is Public access?
You will be treated by the court as a Litigant in Person (unless there is an agreement in writing for Ms Robinson to conduct litigation work on your behalf) even when instructing a barrister direct so you will carry out certain tasks which a solicitor would otherwise do. This would include preparing the papers that Counsel will need. You will also have to prepare instructions which are a synopsis of your case, a chronology or timeline of events and exactly what you are asking the barrister to do. Thereafter you would be told exactly what you have to do and be given draft letters and advice by your barrister.
Do I enter into a contract with the barrister?
Yes. Once fees have been agreed you will receive a contract signed by Counsel which will be in the form of a Client Care Letter. You will be required to sign to confirm agreement to the terms. It is important that you read this contract carefully.
When do I have to pay the barrister?
For every item of work or attendance at a hearing, the fees are paid in advance in line with the client care letter.
Our process for members of the public
When a member of the public contacts us, our Ms Robinson will discuss your situation and confirm if you are suitable to be a client public access.
Public Access Guidance
Please ensure before you contact us that you please see and read in full the Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients page on the Bar Standards Board Website which explains how the Public Access scheme works, and shows members of the public ("lay clients") how they can use it to instruct barristers directly.