When you decide that your problem is one that needs the help of
a barrister, the next step is to find one who is right for the work
that you need to be done. Some barristers will only work through a
solicitor while others will work directly with you to help resolve
your problem. The sections below cover how to find a barrister and
how to hire them to work for you.
Where can I find a barrister?
How can I instruct a barrister?
When might a barrister refuse
What is public access?
How does public access work and what is the
The Bar Council's Bar Directory is the fullest list of
practising barristers available. It can be found
on their website.
When you need a barrister to do work for you, there are two ways
that you can instruct them. If you have a solicitor who is also
working on your legal problem, they will instruct a barrister for
you. Solicitors will often have barristers they work with regularly
and will know who to ask.
If you do not have a solicitor working for you, you can go
directly to a barrister yourself. See section"How do I find a
barrister?" below for more information on how you can find and
use a public access barrister.
There are several reasons a barrister may need to refuse
instructions, or not take on your work. These include:
Public access is the term used to describe members of the public
going directly to a barrister, rather than through a solicitor. Not
all barristers are allowed to deal with members of the public
directly - they need to have completed special training in order to
be able to do this. You can find a register of
barristers who are able to do public access work online.
If you are using a public access barrister you may need to do
some things yourself, including conducting litigation and serving
Conducting litigation includes such things as filing documents
at court and serving documents on others. "Serving documents" on
another person means an official handing over of those
documents to them.
Make sure your barrister explains what they can do and what you
would need to do for yourself.
If you are eligible for legal aid you can still hire a barrister
using the public access scheme, but you will not be able to apply
for legal aid. A public access barrister should help you make an
informed decision about whether to apply for legal aid, or proceed
with public access. The"How do I pay a barrister?"section gives
more information on legal aid.