Direct access

Family Direct Access

‘Direct Access’ or ‘Public Access’ is the term used to enable members of the public to instruct a barrister direct for their case without the involvement of a solicitor.

About us

We are a group of experienced family barristers and mediators who can meet all of your needs for efficient, focussed, cost effective solution to your unique family difficulties.

We can offer access to 15 specialist barristers trained for direct access, in all aspects of family law. Many of our barristers offer an initial fixed fee conference to discuss with you the work that needs to be carried out and all of our members are approachable, friendly and experts in their field.

Our services include oral or written advice, representation at court and assistance in what to expect in your legal matter and guidance throughout. We can also help you resolve your disputes in other ways without going to court, through negotiation, round table meetings or collaborative law. We’ll advise you about what your options are, and about wide ranging legal issues.

We are able to provide expert and specialist legal services at an affordable cost. We charge a set fee for each piece of work so you will always know what you are paying. As one of the leading family teams on the North Eastern circuit we are able to provide a quality service at a competitive price.

Is your case suitable for Direct Access?

Direct access is not currently available for clients who are eligible for legal aid. If you are entitled to public funding then we are able to recommend a specialist solicitor firm to assist.

At present we are unable to undertake litigation work. Therefore, you would need to be able to deal with certain administrative tasks in order to help your case along. For example, you must be able to gather together papers and the evidence in support of your case, you may also need to file documents at court and correspond with the court or other parties in the case.

In considering whether your case is suitable for direct access the barrister will take into account the nature and complexity and your ability to be able to undertake the aspects that would usually be undertaken by a solicitor. We may decide your case is not suitable for direct access and in this instance we will refer you to a suitable solicitor firm.

Contact and Procedure

We look forward to receiving your enquiry; please fill out the enquiry form and email to us at with an initial outline of your case and the assistance you need and any relevant documentation. Our clerking team respond to you with details of which barrister/s would be suitable for your case.

Once a barrister is selected and all relevant paperwork supplied a client care letter will be completed by us setting out the fee details and terms and conditions between you and the barrister. If this is agreeable to you we will require 2 forms of ID (passport or driving licence and recent utility bill) and pre-payment is requested either by bank transfer or card payment over the phone. Only at this point can the barrister commence the work requested.


"Marisa is personable, impressive in conference and great in the courtroom. Clients love her calming manner and she is great at explaining matters to them, which is so vital."

Chambers & Partners 2018

'An expert on the modern family, Allman is well-versed in cases regarding surrogacy, fertility and same-sex relationships.'

Chambers & Partners (2020)