Member of the public?

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 might 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

Public access

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:

  • Commercial
  • Court of Protection
  • Data Protection
  • Domestic and international crime
  • Education
  • Election
  • Employment
  • General Public Law
  • Human Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Immigration
  • Judicial Review
  • Media
  • Police
  • Public International Law
  • Regulatory
  • Sports

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.

    Please give an outline of your case. At this stage we only need brief details.

    Have you sought advice from other law firms or got a solicitor already?


    If 'yes', please outline who

    Is there a particular Matrix barrister that you are interested in?


    If 'yes', please state the name of the barrister:

    How will you pay for the work?

    Unfortunately you cannot instruct a barrister directly under legal aid. You need to hire a solicitor who has a legal aid contract in your area of law. If you would like a list of solicitors who work in that area of law, please let us know by ticking the box and we can send you this information.

    How did you hear about Matrix?

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