Bar Council Annual Report 2016-17

Aim 2 - Direct Access Portal

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Direct Access Portal

The Direct Access Portal (DAP) was launched in October 2015. Free for consumers, it puts them directly in touch with a barrister, mediator or arbitrator. The Bar Council has encouraged barristers to sign up to the portal and has developed relationships with third parties, such as the Federation of Small Businesses and Citizens Advice, who play a key role in informing the public and business community of the benefits of direct access.

Presenting the DAP at the LegalEx exhibition

Presenting the DAP at the LegalEx exhibition

The Bar Council actively promoted the DAP in 2016-17 both in the media and at events including the Business Show, the Northern Business Exhibition and LegalEx.

An ever-increasing number of barristers are accepting work as a direct result of the DAP which has become a ‘go-to’ site for members of the public searching for a barrister. The public searched for a barrister on the DAP approximately 110,000 times between April 2016 and March 2017.

The DAP is attracting both new and return customers, with 68.7 per cent visiting the site for the first time and the remainder (31.3 per cent) being repeat visitors.

The top 10 areas of law searched on the DAP are:

  • Property
  • Employment
  • EU
  • Landlord and Tenant
  • Professional Negligence
  • Commercial
  • Administrative
  • Wills/Inheritance
  • Land
  • Personal Injury

 “We came to think of Direct Access as a way to tap into barristers’ services as and when we needed them, for fixed costs and rapid response. It ticked all of the boxes we needed as clients, and removed the ambiguities.”

- Daniel J ShenSmith, former direct access client and now of ShenSmith Barristers

Contact and further information

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The Bar Council
289-293 High Holborn

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Luke Robins-Grace
Senior Communications Adviser 
0207 630 4689