If you are a “member of the public” (which means you are not a solicitor, barrister or other legal professional), it is usually necessary to go to a solicitor about your case first, as barristers cannot generally be instructed directly by members of the public. It will always be necessary to go to a solicitor first if your case if being publicly funded (i.e., funded through Legal Aid).
If you are looking for a solicitor, you mind find the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor tool useful.
We are not permitted to accept your case directly if it is funded through Legal Aid. To find out if your case might be eligible for Legal Aid, you can use the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Eligibility Calculator, which can be accessed here.
The role of barristers
The UK legal profession is split into barristers and solicitors. Barristers are known for appearing in court (although there are many other services that they can provide). They are specialist advocates and are mainly engaged by other lawyers. One of the benefits of using barristers is that they are independent and they provide their services personally. They work in offices, known as chambers, in order to share staff and facilities.
How barristers are instructed
Barristers cannot generally be instructed by members of the public without a solicitor. Usually, you would go to a solicitor about your case, then the solicitors would instruct a barrister when it is appropriate. This could be when you go to court or if they need specialist advice on a certain area of law.
However, under certain circumstances some barristers can accept instructions directly, and this process is known as public access. Public access barristers have completed a specialist training course in order to handle your instructions.
You can find out more about working with barristers by reading our client information leaflet available here: Matrix Client Information Leaflet
In most cases, it is necessary to go to a solicitor first, however, you may be able to instruct a public access barrister directly. This will only be possible if you have secured private funding for your case. We are unable to accept public access instructions that are funded by Legal Aid. (To find out if your case might be eligible for Legal Aid, you can use the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Eligibility Calculator, which can be accessed here.)
Matrix has trained public access barristers who practise in the following areas of law:
- Court of Protection
- Data Protection
- Domestic and international crime
- General Public Law
- Human Rights/Civil Liberties
- Judicial Review
- Public International Law
Please note that there is no guarantee that our barristers practising in these areas will be able to take on your case. This is because they may not have availability, or they may not be public access trained.
How to get in touch
If you have read all the information above and would like to contact us about instructing a barrister directly, you can do so by completing the form below.
Except as provided for in Matrix’s Privacy Notice, we will not provide your personal data to third parties. We do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data. We retain your personal data while you remain a customer/client/supplier/trainee/employee or work experience student, unless you ask us to delete it. Our Data Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long we hold data for and how we dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held.