Licensed access to the Bar can be achieved through two routes. Either you are deemed to be an authorised licenced access client by virtue of your membership of a certain professional body (click here for further information, scrolling down to the First Schedule), or you hold a special licence from the Bar Council. Either route allows you to instruct our barristers directly, without requiring a solicitor to act as an intermediary.
The Licensed Access system allows an organisation or an individual, with particular expertise in particular areas of the law, to apply to the Bar Council to be licensed to instruct barristers directly in those areas, without the intervention of a solicitor. Some examples include charities and advice organisations, banks and other financial services institutions, insurers, NHS Trusts, professional indemnity organisations, fire brigades, the police and some private companies who need to instruct the bar regularly.
The licence can cover advice or representation, or both, and permit licencees to instruct barristers either on their own affairs, or on behalf of their clients.
We regularly undertake work, across all our practice areas, from licensed access clients who enjoy dealing directly with the specialist adviser of their choice, without requiring a solicitor to duplicate the preparatory work they are well placed to do themselves.
General information about Licensed Access (including rules, regulations, terms of work and lists of licensees) is available on the Bar Council's website, where you can also obtain further details on how to apply if you believe your organisation would benefit from a licence (the links there will refer you to the Bar Standards Board).
Guidance on how to instruct a barrister through this scheme is available in Licensed Access Guidance - Handbook for Clients.
Should you wish to make an enquiry about a licensed access case, please contact the clerks.