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Public access

Public access

It is now possible to seek expert legal advice and representation directly from a barrister, rather than having to go through a solicitor or licensed intermediary. Providing that the case is suitable, public access can offer several benefits for members of the public, professionals and companies.

At Cornerstone Barristers a number of our members are qualified to undertake public access work across all of our key practice areas, including planning, property and licensing law. A list of those members, with links to their profiles, can be found below.

Why use public access?

Public access can offer several advantages including:

  • Precise legal fees: our clerks can advise you on fee levels including one-off fees for individual pieces of work and bespoke arrangements for work over a protracted period of time;
  • Access to expert practical advice from the outset: our barristers not only provide legal advice, but also strategic guidance before any legal issues arise;
  • Continuity of approach: using the same expert legal representative for both advice and representation can mean a quicker and more efficient process should your case go before a court or tribunal.

Our barristers can assist with:

  • Advice on a legal problem or strategic issue;
  • The drafting of formal documents;
  • Correspondence with an opposing party;
  • Advocacy and representation in courts and tribunals.

Further information on Public Access can be found on The Bar Council website.


If you are interested in instructing our barristers through public access, the first step is to speak to our clerks who are well placed to offer guidance and advice on how public access works and whether it is appropriate for your case.

When contacting the clerks, it is helpful if you can explain the most important facts about your case and the key events leading up to the present. We may ask that you follow this up in writing and send some of the relevant papers. The clerks will then discuss your case with a suitable barrister and contact you with a suggested course of action, including details of fees and response times.

To contact the clerks call 0207 242 4986 / 0333 240 0591 or email clerks@cornerstonebarristers.com.

"Their work on our case was of the highest standard. They are friendly, unflappable and professional. The clerks at Chambers are admirably patient and approachable with laypeople, and give a level of service that a blue chip client would expect. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Cornerstone's direct access scheme to anyone seeking representation". - Public Access Client.

Licensed Access

We also accept Licensed Access instructions from certain organisations and individuals. For further information on whether you are part of an organisation with authorisation to instruct barristers directly (for example MRTPI, RIBA or RICS), or for information on how to obtain a licence to instruct a barrister, please visit the Bar Standards Board website or contact The Bar Council.


Corporate Liability: Work related deaths and criminal prosecutions
Cornerstone on anti-social behaviour: The new law
Cornerstone on Councillors' conduct
Cornerstone on Planning Court
Cornerstone's Electoral Legislation 2016
Licensed Premises: Law, Practice and Policy