Direct Public Access

John  is qualified to accept instructions from members of the public and legal entities such as companies. This is known as Direct Public Access (“DPA”) to the Bar, a relatively recent development that has revolutionised the way that litigation in England and Wales is conducted. The guidance the Bar Standards Board has provided for those who are thinking of employing a barrister on direct access terms, can be read or downloaded by clicking on the link below:

Download (PDF, 268KB)

John has acted successfully in a wide range of direct public access cases for individual and corporate clients.  Examples of this work include:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975
  • Disputes concerning solicitors’ limited liability partnerships
  • Contractual and general partnership disputes
  • Enforcement proceedings
  • Employment litigation

John understands the problems DPA clients have in navigating the often unfamiliar territory they find themselves in as litigants. He provides practical guidance and support in order to help his clients deal with the role they have to assume.

For his or her part a direct public access client needs to be determined, organised, well-resourced and capable of coping with the logistical and emotional demands of the day-to-day running of a dispute. This is because litigation is very often difficult and frustrating and in direct public access cases the client has to take on many of the responsibilities that a solicitor would normally discharge. That is why the Bar’s Code of Conduct says of this type of work:

“…, the barrister must at all times consider the developing circumstances of the case, and whether at any stage it is in the best interests of the [direct public access] client or in the interests of justice for the .. client to instruct a solicitor or other professional…”

However if you are able to deal with the demands of the litigation, having your day in court as a direct public access client can be especially satisfying, because you have saved the costs of having instructed a solicitor, and you will have played a very significant part in the result.

If you are considering instructing John on direct public access terms you should first consider what is said above carefully. Do you have the resources, determination, logistical ability and emotional aptitude to carry out your part?  If you believe that you have, then you should initially approach John’s clerks, providing them with a summary of the issues with which you need assistance, and copies of any key documents.  If it looks as though it is a suitable case for John to deal with, it is likely that a short conference will be arranged in order for John and you to meet for a preliminary discussion as to his retainer.