The Bar Council has given its backing to a new website enabling consumers to go directly to a barrister for legal services.
The Direct Access Portal, which is free to use for consumers, with no introduction fees, is the brainchild of barristers Pru Beever and Mike Whyatt, who set up the site last year.
They have now joined forces with the Bar Council and their portal will replace the Bar Council’s existing direct access register as the main hub for consumers looking for a direct access barrister. It currently has almost 300 barristers listed but the number is expected to grow now that it has the Bar Council’s backing.
Following a relaunch of the portal in Manchester on 1 July, Bar Council chairman Alistair MacDonald QC, said: “Innovation in the barristers’ profession is clearly alive and well. The Direct Access Portal was designed with one aim in mind; to make it easier for the public to access the quality services that barristers provide.
“There are now thousands of barristers able to provide legal advice and other services directly to members of the public, potentially saving them money in the process. This portal will act as the point of access to these barristers.”
Ms Beever said: “Our motivation for creating the Direct Access Portal was not to make a profit but to simply make life easier for anyone looking for a barrister.”
Direct Access barristers who pay the Bar Council’s Bar Representation Fee of £100 per year will be able to list on the portal for free. The portal can be seen here.
Last year, Bar Council research suggested that by the end of 2015, the number of barristers whom clients could access directly was expected to make up almost half of the entire Bar.
As the legal services environment continues to evolve, more barristers may wish to explore new opportunities to develop their operations to generate additional income.
Milsted Langdon can provide expert advice to barristers on issues including business development and strategy issues. For more information, please contact us.