Direct Access

Members of Drystone Chambers are qualified and registered with the Bar Standards Board to accept instructions direct from businesses and members of the public. Chambers also continues to accept licensed access instructions. If you have a legal problem and need advice, assistance or representation you do not need to approach a solicitor first but can engage a barrister at Drystone yourself.

Areas of expertise

Members of Chambers have varying areas of specialist expertise. This means within Chambers we are able to advise and represent in matters as diverse as: employment, licensing, planning, professional discipline, chancery, landlord and tenant/housing matters, commercial/contract , criminal and regulatory work. All members of Drystone have considerable courtroom experience, most having spent years presenting cases to juries and judges at all levels.

What service we can provide?

Barristers at Drystone are able to advise on your case in terms of the law, evidence and procedure; can engage in correspondence with opposing parties on your behalf; can advise and assist you in the drafting of formal documents; can represent you as advocate before courts and tribunals across England and Wales; can advise and represent in relation to any appeal.

Chambers can accommodate disabled clients and some members are able to consult in languages other than English. Conferences can be held with an interpreter where English is not the first language and no member of Chambers speaks your mother tongue. Chambers has ample conference facilities for large or small meetings, complete with presentational media and wireless broadband access.

Advantages in instructing a barrister direct

Considerable savings can be made. If you anticipate requiring a barrister for your case at some stage, for example to provide specialist advocacy services at future court hearings or to draft technical documents relating to your case, you save the expense of engaging the solicitor.

With fewer overheads barristers offer more competitive hourly rates and fixed fees than solicitors without any compromise in the quality of the service provided.

Where your case requires urgent attention cutting out the middle man saves time.

You do not have to communicate with your specialist through the solicitor if you are the one providing the instructions to the barrister.

If you know your case well and want to be involved in its management, you may find working with counsel to be a more engaging experience and less conducted at arm’s length.

How do you go about instructing a barrister at Drystone Chambers?

1. Contact one of our dedicated direct/public access clerks on 020 7404 1881 and explain the nature of your problem. They will help identify a suitable barrister with the necessary level of experience and expertise for your case.

2. In certain cases it may be necessary for the nominated barrister to have a short meeting with you or review some of the essential documents to ensure yours is a case he is able to take on.

3. You will need to indicate what work you are initially expecting the barrister to do, e.g. draft pleadings/provide oral advice in conference/attend a scheduled hearing.

4. The clerks will discuss the cost of that work you have specified and agree a fee with you.

5. A client care letter will be drafted by the barrister for you and he to sign setting out clearly what work you are asking him to undertake and what he will charge for that work.

6. Your barrister will require a full copy of all papers in your case so that he can fully advise and prepare for the work you are asking him to undertake.

What can you expect to pay?

Our policy on fees is transparency and all quotes are based on a fair evaluation of the work entailed.

Barristers generally charge an hourly rate (dependent on their level of seniority) for more complex cases or where the duration of the work is unknown or unquantifiable. In certain cases preliminary caps can be set on the number of hours your barrister is to spend before your written authorisation is required for further time.

Alternatively Members of Chambers frequently engage in specific instructions, e.g. attendance at a scheduled hearing, for a fixed fee if that is preferred by the client and suitable to the work the client wishes his barrister to undertake.

In either case the fixed fee or hourly rate will be agreed and confirmed in writing in advance of the work and these figures will not change without your prior written approval.

In the case of fixed fee work, Chambers’ policy following Bar Council guidelines is to require payment in full in advance of the work, although exceptional circumstances may exist where this requirement is waived.

Where you case, whether paid on a fixed fee or hourly rate basis, requires additional work or attendance, e.g. a further court appearance, you will be advised as to this, and there will be a further written agreement as to the fee for that work, if you wish to instruct your barrister to undertake that additional work.

All Members of Chambers are VAT registered and therefore obliged to charge VAT on fees to clients who pay tax in the UK.