PABA represents the interests of the several hundred English and Welsh Barristers who offer direct legal services to the public and the business community in cases where the use of a Solicitor is no longer necessary. Under the Bar scheme launched in 2004, members of the public and businesses may instruct Barristers directly and without the intervention of a solicitor.
This scheme is ground-breaking for the Bar of England and Wales. Whilst the media might portray the Bar to be arcane and remote, Public Access work involves user-friendly Barristers opening their doors and engaging directly with clients. Public Access work has revealed how legal expertise can be delivered without extortionate cost and undue formality.
PABA's rationale is threefold:
Public Access to the Bar is still something of a well kept secret. So PABA is working to improve public awareness of the option to instruct a Barrister before using a solicitor. This is an option which should be considered by anyone who has contact with the legal system in this country. Instead of asking yourself: "Do I need to contact a solicitor ?" - you should in fact be asking yourself: "Do I need a solicitor or a barrister ?"
PABA offers CPD accredited seminars and events.
PABA represents the interests of Public Access Barristers on matters of policy affecting the future of the scheme. Marc Beaumont is also Vice Chairman of the Access to the Bar Committee (ABC) of the Bar Council and an elected member of the full Bar Council. James Corbett and Philip Newman are members of the ABC. Marc Beaumont is also a member of the Public Access Review Working Party.
The Officers are very happy to respond to requests for general information or assistance from members of the public or members of the Bar.
James Corbett QC
Andrew Granville Stafford