Instruct a barrister

All Members of Fenners Chambers are self-employed and independent barristers who have been called to the Bar of England and Wales. They provide expertise in a wide range of practice areas.

Fenners Chambers’ barristers can be instructed by solicitors and licensed access organisations, and many of our barristers can be instructed directly by members of the public (“Public Access”).

Using a solicitor
If you start by employing a solicitor and they decide that you will need a barrister, they will usually choose your barrister for you. Solicitors will usually have barristers they work with regularly and will know who to ask.

Public Access
“Public Access” is the term used to describe members of the public instructing a barrister directly, rather than through a solicitor. Barristers must receive Public Access training before they may accept work in this way, and not all cases will be suitable.

At Fenners we have 40 barristers who are able to take Public Access instructions. Please look for the ‘Direct Access Qualified’ icon on our barristers’ profile pages.


How do I instruct a barrister?

Instructing a barrister directly is simple. Fill in the contact form below and a member of our administrative team will be in touch with you shortly, to discuss the best barrister for your case. Alternatively, you can call our clerks on 01223 368761, or email

If you choose to instruct a barrister and a solicitor, your solicitor will help you to choose and instruct the right barrister.

What is the advantage of coming to Fenners directly to instruct a barrister?

Public Access is an efficient and cost-effective way of obtaining expert legal advice and representation. Our barristers can advise you on a wide range of issues, and taking advice early often leads to a faster, and more amicable, resolution. Many clients find that instructing a barrister directly is quicker and cheaper than instructing a solicitor as well.

What is the cost?

Work is charged either on a fixed fee basis or at an hourly rate, and fees will be agreed with you in advance, so that there are no surprises. Our barristers’ hourly rates range between £125 + vat and £500 + vat, and our clerks can advise you on the most cost-effective way of dealing with your case. Fees will vary depending upon the level of expertise that you need, and the amount of work involved in advising you and both preparing for and attending any court hearing. In certain cases, barristers may also charge for their travel.

Once you have agreed to instruct a barrister, you will be provided with a letter of engagement (called a Client Care Letter), which sets out the terms of your agreement with your chosen barrister and the fees that you have agreed to pay. This is your contract. Fees must be paid prior to the barrister carrying out any specified piece of work.

Is my case suitable for direct public access?

Most cases are suitable for direct access, but some require the skills of a solicitor as well. If we assess that your case is not suitable for public access we will inform you as quickly as possible and, if required, we can help you find a suitable solicitor.

What will my role be if the case is direct access?

Unless your chosen barrister has authorisation to ‘conduct litigation’, you will be treated by the court as a ‘Litigant in Person’ even when instructing a barrister directly. This means that you will have to carry out certain tasks that a solicitor would otherwise do, including preparing the papers that your barrister will need, and sending documents to the court and any other party.

For further information about instructing a barrister directly, please see the Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients and Price Transparency Policy Statement published by the Bar Standards Board.


We hope that you will be very happy with the service that our barristers provide to you, but if an issue does arise, we will do our very best to resolve it with you.

Please see our complaints policy for further information.

Contact us

Please contact us to find out more about instructing a barrister