Non-legal professionals: Licensed Access

Licensed Access permits direct access to the services of a barrister by certain professional organisations or individuals who are authorised through the Bar Standards Board Licensed Access Scheme, without being required to first instruct a solicitor.


As the Bar Standards Board explains:

"Organisations or individuals that have an identifiable area of expertise or experience can apply to the Bar Standards Board to be licensed to instruct barristers directly. The license holder can instruct any member of the Bar for advice, and in some circumstances representation, on their own behalf or another's behalf in the specialist area... Licensed access provides the opportunity for the widest diversity of organisations and individuals to be licensed to instruct a barrister directly whether in the commercial, profit, non‐profit or voluntary sector and irrespective of size or of type of work."


The Bar Standards Board has prepared a handbook for existing or potential licensed access clients.

However, clients who are not already licensed by the Bar Standards Board to instruct barristers directly through the Licensed Access Scheme may now prefer to instruct a Public Access barrister directly as this option is very simple and does not require the client to first apply for a licence. For more information on the Public Access scheme, please read our Public Access FAQs.