Direct Access Barristers

In certain circumstances, members of the public can now instruct a direct access barrister at 25 Bedford Row to represent you in criminal and regulatory proceedings without first instructing a solicitor. This is called “Direct Access” or “Public Access” and can result in significant savings on the cost of the preparation of your case and its passage through court, without compromising the standard of service you receive.

Our experienced Direct Access barristers can advise you at every stage and represent you at all hearings up to and including to trial and appeal if required. This means that our experienced expert practitioners will look after every aspect of your case from beginning to end.

If you would like to discuss instructing one of our qualified Direct Access barristers directly or find out if the direct access scheme is appropriate for your case, please contact our clerks’ room who will advise you on the scheme and will recommend to you a barrister.

Direct Access Barristers FAQ

Why should I choose 25 Bedford Row direct access barristers?

Our barristers are trained in public access work and specialise in modern defence advocacy. We are instructed across all areas of criminal and regulatory law, and have the experience and expertise necessary to achieve the best results for our clients.

We are pro-active in seeking to achive positive results at an early stage in an investigation or prosecution, without the need for a trial. We are sensitive to costs considerations and will provide a service tailored to the needs of each client. With 70  barristers in our set, we have the breadth of specialist knowledge to give you the most appropriate and effective advice and representation.

25 Bedford Row has been consistently recognised as the leading chambers in our core practice areas, with our barristers being the first set to achieve the Bar Mark in 1999. This recognised the consistency and quality of our legal advice and our continued development of successful relationships with our clients. We have been involved in many of the most high-profile criminal trials in recent years, and in In 2014 we received the Crime Chambers of the Year award from Legal 500.

Our barristers regularly work with both UK and international clients. Our dedicated International Practice Group has a strong track record of representing clients in international cases.

What is the process for instructing a barrister through direct access?

To instruct one of our barristers through direct access, you simply need to contact our clerks’ room. Our experienced clerks will assess whether your case is suitable for public access and advise you on the next steps.

What are the benefits of direct access?

Instructing a barrister through direct access enables clients to access advice and representation without instructing a solicitor, reducing the cost of defending your case.

Is my case suitable for direct access?

Although public access barristers can work on a broad range of cases, they cannot conduct litigation on your behalf. This means you will need to take care of some of the administration of your case yourself. In some complex complex cases, or where a client is not confident that they manage the administration of their case, it may be desirable to instruct a solicitor.

Direct Access is not available for legal aid clients. Legal aid clients wishing to instruct us must do so through a solicitor.

What work can a barrister do under the direct access scheme?     

You can use the direct access scheme to contact a barrister for help with advice about your case and the law relating to your situation. Direct access barrister can represent you in court, at tribunals, appeal hearings, committee hearings or similar proceedings. They may also draft documents for you, including appeal forms and letters. However, they cannot issue documents or letters on your behalf, so you will need to do this yourself or instruct  a third party to do so. Chambers can assist with the instruction of third parties on your behalf.

A public access barrister may also advise you on the evidence you need to progress a case, but cannot investigate or collect evidence for you. They can, however, advise you on which professionals you can contact for additional help with your case and may draft letters of instruction for these professionals on your behalf, but you will need to instruct these third parties yourself.

Direct access barristers cannot handle the general management of your case or your affairs and cannot handle money on your behalf.

What are the fees involved with direct access?

The cost of instructing a public access barrister will depend on a variety of  factors, including the nature of the work required, the complexity of your case and the seniority of the barrister. Your fee will be agreed in advance by our clerks.


25 Bedford Row is a set that offers a variety of expertise and are known for their approachability. Have been quick to embrace the concept of direct access representation in criminal work

Chambers UK


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