Until the more recent Government changes, it was always necessary for work to be referred to a barrister through a solicitor. It is now possible for certain organisations, companies, firms or members of the public to come directly to a barrister for specialist advice and/or representation on a range of personal or business matters; where the investigation and management of the case can be conducted without a solicitor. . Depending on the individual Barristers training, recent rules provide that a Barrister can now act for you from the start of your case to the very end without the need for a solicitor, if the Barrister thinks the case is suitable for this procedure.


What Practice Area’s

No 18 accepts direct access instructions in most of our practice areas, where the case is suitable and where we consider ourselves one of the region’s an expert in this type of work. Though not every case is suitable especially where there is complex litigation which requires a team of people including a solicitor to investigate and manage the case.


Who Can Instruct

No 18 accepts direct access instructions from;

  • Solicitors or other practising lawyers;
  • Licensed Access clients, who may either hold a licence issued by the Bar Standards Board, or   be a member of a professional body which has been recognised by the Bar Standards Board;
  • Members of the public who wish to instruct a barrister under the Public Access scheme.

Fee’s, Timescale & Transparency

No18 Chambers is committed to being as transparent as possible in relation to price and service standards (see service standard page) when instructing one of our barristers.

Please contact us directly using our contact details in relation to your particular matter.


Timescales

Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity of your case and work needed, the need for additional documents, the other side’s approach and the Courts availability for listing your matter.

The timings will also be affected by any agreements/negotiations you have made with the other side, and any external factors such witnesses’ availability or third party involvement. As a guide the more straightforward cases tend to have a hearing dates listed in Court within 8-12 months of a claim being issued.


Fees

Our fees will vary depending on the factors involved in each individual case such as, complexity or seniority of barrister.  Our clerks are always happy to provide a quote for the work at either an hourly rate or a fixed sum.  All fees will be agreed in advance so you the client have control over your expenditure.

Due to the wide variety of matters, and the individual circumstances which surround cases in which we are asked to advise and represent clients upon, it is not practical to give exact total costs for all services that No18 Chambers provide.

Once we properly understand your circumstances and requirements, we will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of your instruction with no obligation to instruct, and then for each stage thereafter. In general we offer a variety of ways of charging but most commonly these are using a fixed fee – to which you will agree at the outset – or by hourly rates; again with your agreement and as set out in our quote.

Some indicative cost details are provided below in the relevant links– however please do contact us directly for an accurate quote. Indicative fees on the below pages are excluding VAT.


What Happens Next?

Once your case has been assessed and the Barrister has agreed to take your case on a direct access basis, a client care letter will be sent. This will form the contract between you and the Barrister setting out the terms and conditions together with the fees in advance.

The agreement is between you and the Barrister; it does not, unless otherwise indicated, cover anyone else.

As with all professionals we are required by our regulatory body to keep proper records of our clients and comply with statutory regulations. Information provided in the questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential and will never be released by us without your authority save for very exceptional reasons.


What Courts Do We Cover?

No18 Chambers is one of the longest established sets on the Western Circuit. We regularly attend courts in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, London and further afield.


The Rules

What we can do for you

This depends on whether the Barrister is authorised only for public access or authorised for public access and litigation Barristers Authorised for public access and litigation.

The Barrister can:
  • Take on your case from start to finish, including advising you and representing you in court or elsewhere.  You can decide what the Barrister does for you, and what you do yourself.
  • Advise you or your business, either in conference or in writing
  • Draft the formal court documents (called 'pleadings') setting out your case
  • Draft the terms of formal letters such as notices of intended claims, instructions to experts and settlement offers
  • Advise you as to the evidence that you will likely need in your case
  • Represent you in the Courts and Tribunals
  • Attend formal meetings with you such as Joint Settlement Meetings and mediation
  • Engage in correspondence for you or on your firm’s behalf (although we may be able to assist you in drafting letters for you to send)
  • Take responsibility for the management of court proceedings and put himself on the court record as being able to accept formal notices for you and issue court proceedings for you Investigate your case and interview witnesses
  • Instruct experts directly
Barristers Authorised only for public access

The rules relating to direct access mean that we can:

  • Advise you or your business, either in conference or in writing
  • Draft the formal court documents (called 'pleadings') setting out your case
  • Draft the terms of formal letters such as notices of intended claims, instructions to experts and settlement offers
  • Advise you as to the evidence that you will likely need in your case
  • Represent you in the Courts and Tribunals
  • Attend formal meetings with you such as Joint Settlement Meetings and mediation

What we cannot do for you

We are not permitted to:
  • Engage in correspondence for you or on your firm’s behalf (although we may be able to assist  you in drafting letters for you to send)
  • Take responsibility for the management of court proceedings or put ourselves on the court record as being able to accept formal notices for you or issue court proceedings for you (although we can advise you as to how to do this yourself)
  • Investigate your case or interview witnesses (although we can advise you as to evidence that you will need to assemble and draft up statements from the material you have collected)
  • Hold client money
  • Instruct experts directly

NOT SURE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR LEGAL AID – please follow this link to the Legal Services commission Legal Aid calculator


Further Guidance & Regulatory and Complaints Information

Barristers in chambers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board. You can search the Barristers’ Register on the Bar Standards Board’s website: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/. This wil provide you with

  1. whether a barrister has a current practising certificate, and
  2. whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings, which are published on the Bar Standards Board’s website in accordance with their policy.

Alternatively, you can contact the Bar Standards Board on 020 7611 1444 to ask about this (or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Please click the below link which will provide you with information about:

  • Our complaints procedure;
  • Any right you may have to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) – the independent body which can help you if you have complained to your lawyer and are not happy with their response;
  • How to complain to LeO; and
  • Any time limits for making a complaint.

You can also search the decision data on LeO’s website:

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/#ombudsman-decision-data.

This shows providers which received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months, and whether LeO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. Alternatively, you can contact LeO on 0300 555 0333 to ask about this (or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Download this page as a PDF

Download the Questionnaire