Bar Council opens direct access to barristers

The Bar Council has approved a scheme that will enable legal executives to instruct barristers directly, as opposed to the traditional route of going through a solicitor.

The scheme operates through a licensing system run by the BarDIRECT Committee of the Bar Council.

BarDIRECT, which was launched in the 1990s by the Bar Council, enables organisations with relevant experience and expertise to use the specialist advice and advocacy services of barristers directly, without the intervention of a solicitor.

Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (Ilex) can now instruct counsel to obtain written advice and draft documents for representation at court.

Ilex president Mary Dowson said: “The BarDIRECT scheme is a further step for legal executives to be recognised on par with solicitors.”