Members of the public are able to instruct barristers under the Bar’s Public Access scheme without first instructing a solicitor.
Public Access barristers do what barristers always do: provide specialist legal advice, draft legal documents including documents needed during litigation, and provide specialist representation and advocacy before Courts and other Tribunals. You can be advised and guided through the legal process by the barrister alone, rather than by both a solicitor and a barrister. You can also seek advice about setting up a business, drafting employment and other contracts, with the aim of avoiding or reducing the risk of disputes in the future.
If you are a member of the public, the Bar Standards Board’s Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients is available here. This will help you to understand how the Public Access scheme works, and explains how you can use it to instruct barristers directly.
If you are considering instructing a barrister at Tanfield Chambers, please complete the following form. If the matter is very urgent please telephone our Direct Access Manager on 020 7421 5300.
Fee arrangements for barristers at Tanfield vary depending on the area of practice, the seniority of the barrister and the complexity and value of your case.
Tanfield is committed to complete transparency in relation to fees, which can be arranged on a fixed fee basis, an hourly rate basis, a conditional fee agreement, a part-conditional fee agreement.
Please inform us if you are entitled (or may be entitled) to public funding or insurance cover to pay for your case, because this may affect whether a barrister can accept your instructions on a Public Access basis.
If you would like to instruct a barrister at Tanfield to undertake work in any of the practice areas set out below, please click on the links below to access further information on fees for that practice area:
We will provide you with a quotation as soon as possible and always aim clearly to set out our quotations. However, please contact us on 020 7421 5300 if you need any guidance or help to understand your quotation.
Unless otherwise specifically agreed in writing, barristers at Tanfield Chambers only accept instructions from Public Access clients on the terms set out in an agreed client care letter, which our Direct Access Manager or one of the other practice managers will send to you once the extent of the work you would like the barrister to do has been agreed and you have accepted the barrister’s quotation in principle and subject to contract.
Timescales for our services may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity and value of your case, the need for additional documents and the approach of the other side.
As a guide, written advice on your case will be available within two to four weeks where possible. For court hearings, we would ideally need two weeks’ notice of the date of the hearing, however, we appreciate you may also need representation at short notice. If so, please contact our practice managers and our barristers will aim to represent you at the hearing where possible.
Barristers in chambers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board. You can search the Barristers’ Register on the Bar Standards Board’s website which shows (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).
Chambers enjoys the advantage of having a number of barristers who speak foreign languages, including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian.
Tanfield’s Governance Board ensures as far as reasonably practicable that Chambers as a whole, its committees, members, pupils (including mini-pupils), squatters and staff comply with paragraphs 305.1 and 305.2 (as amended) of the Bar Code of Conduct which prohibit any form of discrimination or harassment, whether direct or indirect, against any person on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religion or belief and in the case of age only where objectively and reasonably justifiable.
Tanfield has an Equal Opportunities Committee which monitors and reviews the implementation of its policies. Chambers takes diversity seriously and most recently undertook diversity monitoring in November 2019. The data is available to view here.
What are the benefits of instructing a Tanfield barrister directly?
Which areas of the law are suitable for Public Access instructions? The following are examples of work which is suitable for Public Access:
Are there any areas where I cannot instruct a barrister directly? If you are unsure of whether your legal issue is covered by Public Access, contact our Public Access Administrator here.
How will a barrister at Tanfield Chambers use my data? If you are a Public Access client and want to know more about how your barrister will use your data you can find the lay client privacy notice here.
Tanfield Chambers is proud of its reputation for providing excellent client service. However we recognise that there may be times when our service falls short of expectations, despite our very best efforts. We encourage ongoing communication with our clients so that any issues can be identified and resolved as early as possible. We maintain a formal complaints procedure to assist with the appropriate handling of any complaints. Should you wish to bring a formal complaint to our attention, please contact the Chief Executive, Walter Womersley, in the first instance. A copy of our complaints procedure can be viewed by clicking here.
As detailed within our complaints procedure, you may have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (“the LEO”). Clients can complain to the LeO if they are unhappy with the final response to their complaint, or if their complaint has not been dealt with in 8 weeks; and clients who have a right to complain to the LeO are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities.
The full list of who has a right to complain to the LeO is available on their website and here. You must complain to the Legal Ombudsman either within six years of your barrister’s actions/failure to act, or no later than three years after you should reasonably have known there were grounds to complain.
You must also complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving your barrister’s final response to your complaint.
More information about the Legal Ombudsman is available on their website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
You can also search the decision data on the LeO’s website which you can access here.