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Direct Access

“What sets Spire Barristers apart is our commitment to excellence in everything we do. Along with our genuine and caring ethos, together with our staff’s renowned desire to consistently exceed the expectations of our clients and our barristers.”

- Leigh Royall, Senior Clerk

In addition to receiving instructions via Solicitors, certain Barristers, equipped with specialised training, can now accept instructions directly from individuals and commercial organisations under the Public Access Scheme.

Public Access, also known as Direct Access, is operated under the guidelines of The Bar Standards Board. Full details and guidance can be found by clicking here. Please let us know if you wish to receive the information below in an alternative format.


Direct Access at Spire Barristers

Our Public Access Accredited Barristers, while proficient in providing advice and representation, are not authorized to conduct Litigation.

Practicing primarily in Family Law and Public Law, our Barristers offer expertise in the following areas:.

  • Private law family proceedings in the Family Courts
  • Family finance issues arising from divorce and separation in the County and Family Courts
  • Health and Welfare matters in the Court of Protection


We understand transparency is crucial. Following an initial discussion with a member of our dedicated clerking team, we provide free, prompt fee quotes. If there is anything you find unclear in the quotation, please contact us for clarification.


Our fee structure typically involves fixed fees, payable in advance upon accepting the quote. Alternatively, arrangements can be made based on agreed hourly rates. Please refer below for indicative hourly rates.

Factors Influencing Costs

The cost estimation for a Direct Access case varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Volume of documents
  • Scope of tasks required (e.g., drafting statements, court forms, sifting evidence)
  • Duration of the hearing
  • Seniority of the barrister
  • Location of the case
  • Complexity and novelty of legal issues
  • Preparation time required

For a tailored fee quote or further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Indicative Fees for a Family Finance Case

When the assets involved do not exceed £500,000, and the case is handled by a barrister with 8-12 years of experience, the fees typically fall within the following ranges:

  • Written Advice: £800-£1,200 plus VAT
  • Drafting Statements: £600-£1,000 plus VAT
  • Advising in Conference: £1,000-£1,750 plus VAT
  • First Appointment: £1,250-£2,500 plus VAT
  • Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing: £1,750-£3,250 plus VAT
  • Final Hearing: £2,000-£5,000 plus VAT

At Spire Barristers, we prioritize transparency in our pricing structure. If you choose not to proceed with our services after receiving a quote, we’ll return your documents to you free of charge. Payment is required in advance before any work commences, ensuring you’re only charged for agreed-upon services.


Should your case necessitate additional work beyond the initial scope, we’ll inform you beforehand, providing clear explanations and seeking your consent before proceeding. Our preferred payment methods include BACS transfer or cheque, with payment clearance required before work commencement. Please consult with our clerking team for a detailed discussion on the relative costs of our barristers.

Hourly Rate and Fixed Fee Options

If an hourly rate is deemed preferable for your case, our public access barristers typically charge between £150 and £600 per hour plus VAT. The exact rate depends on factors such as seniority, experience, and case complexity. Based on the indicative illustration provided earlier, the level of barrister in that example would warrant an hourly rate of £250 + VAT per hour. For a comprehensive understanding of our barristers’ costs, we encourage you to discuss with our clerking team.


Alternatively, if a fixed fee arrangement is agreed upon, it will be determined by our clerks’ expertise regarding the estimated duration of your case. Please note that fees quoted do not include VAT, which will be clearly communicated in advance and detailed in the written agreement. Rest assured, there are no hidden additional costs. Any potential additional expenses, such as reasonable travel expenses for hearings or meetings located more than 25 miles from our Chambers, will be outlined in advance. Such expenses are calculated pro-rata at £60 per hour plus VAT.

For further clarification or to discuss fee quotations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


The duration of a case may vary depending on several factors, including barrister availability, case complexity, opposing party approach, and court scheduling. Here’s a guide to the typical steps involved in a family finance case:

  1. Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM): Before initiating court proceedings for a financial order on divorce or civil partnership dissolution, attendance at a MIAM is mandatory by law, except under specific circumstances.
  2. Form A Application: Following the MIAM, the Form A application initiates the court process in a money case, leading to the First Directions Appointment (FDA).
  3. First Directions Appointment (FDA): Scheduled by the court approximately five weeks after the Form A filing, FDA aims to set directions to progress the case, including document exchange and disclosure.
  4. Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearing: Usually, the next step after FDA, the FDR is a without-prejudice hearing where parties propose settlements, facilitated by the judge to reach an agreement.
  5. Final Hearing: If no agreement is reached at FDR, the case proceeds to a final hearing, where evidence is presented, and the court decides on property, assets, income division, and costs.

Regulatory and Complaints Information

The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers in chambers. You can search the Barristers’ Register on the Bar Standards Board’s website.
This shows (1) whether a barrister has a current practising certificate and (2) whether a barrister has had any disciplinary findings. These are published on the Bar Standards Board’s website. Alternatively, you can contact the Bar Standards Board on 020 7611 1444 to ask about this (or e-mail;

A separate sheet which provides information about this can be found here:

  • Our complaints procedure;
  • Any right you may have to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) – the independent body which can help you if you have complained to your lawyer and are not happy with their response;
  • How to complain to the LeO; and
  • Any time limits for making a complaint.

You can also search the decision data on LeO’s website here. This shows providers who received an ombudsman’s decision in the previous 12 months and whether the LeO required the provider to give the consumer a remedy. Alternatively, you can contact the LeO on 0300 555 0333 to ask about this (or e-mail


The contents of this page were last reviewed on 3rd April 2024.

For more information, or to instruct a barrister, please get in touch with our dedicated Clerking team

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Our Direct Access Barristers