Direct access means that you are able to instruct me directly without having to go through a solicitor (who then in turn may instruct a barrister). That’s why direct access can work out cheaper than the traditional route of instructing solicitors.
If I am working for you on direct access I can represent you at hearings, and provide specialist legal advice including giving a first or second opinions. I can also assist in drafting correspondence, statements and documents required by the court, and can advise on the use and instruction of experts.
However, I cannot correspond directly with other parties in the case, collect evidence or interview witnesses nor can I instruct experts directly on your behalf.
There may, however, be occasions when you’d be better off instructing solicitors or even doing the case yourself – this is something I’ll discuss with you.
All barristers who accept work under the direct access scheme are registered to do so by the Bar Standards Board and operate under the Code of Conduct for Barristers in England and Wales, and under the Public Access Rules. If you’re thinking of instructing me directly, it’s also important that you read this document from the Bar Standards Board.