Direct Professional Access

The Bar of Northern Ireland provides direct access to barristers for Professional Bodies which have been approved by the Bar Council.

What is Direct Professional Access?

Barristers can provide specialist legal advice directly to certain Professional Bodies without the need for a solicitor intermediary, reducing costs and saving time. For example, if you have a planning law query or need advice and assistance drafting regulations, working directly with a barrister who is an expert in that area and flexible in their working practices is likely to be more cost-effective.

Who has Direct Professional Access?

Members of certain Professional Bodies have been approved by the Bar Council for Direct Professional Access and may brief Counsel directly in non-contentious matters.

The Royal Town Planning Institute

The Institute of Civil Engineers

Faculty of Actuaries

The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants

Association of Authorised Public Accountants

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

Banking Ombudsman

The Chartered Insurance Institute

Institute of Chemical Engineers

The British Institute of Architectural Technology

Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects

Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland

The Institution of Electrical Engineers

Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters

The Chartered Institute of Taxation

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Chartered Institute of Housing

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management

Association of Taxation Technicians

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Click here to contact us for information on how to become an approved body for Professional Access.

In using Direct Professional Access, the fundamental features which must always be noted are the best interests and the well-being of the client. If, for example, a barrister concludes that the interests of the client are best served by the involvement of a solicitor, then a solicitor must be retained by the member of the professional body who had originally sought to use Direct Professional Access.

Instructing a Barrister through Direct Professional Access

When asked to provide written advice a barrister should be sent adequate instructions. These instructions should include background details of the nature of the issue and the advice required. Solicitors will be familiar with the steps involved in briefing a barrister to appear in Court. Other professionals wishing to instruct to appear before a tribunal should send instructions which will include a case introduction, witness statements and all other material documentation.

In all circumstances a pre-hearing consultation should be arranged to ensure that the case issues can be fully discussed.

Contact for more information about Direct Professional Access.