What are the costs of instructing a direct access barrister at 4PB?

We accept Public Access instructions on a privately funded basis only, and our policy is to take payment in advance of counsel undertaking any work. We accept funds by bank transfer or by credit/debit card.

Unfortunately we are not permitted to accept Public Access cases on a Legal Aid basis, nor are we able to assist you in determining whether or not you are eligible for Legal Aid.

If you think you may be eligible for Legal Aid then you may wish to visit the Ministry of Justice website which offers a Legal Aid Eligibility Calculator; this can be accessed by clicking here.  However, a solicitor will provide you with the best advice on whether or not you are eligible for Legal Aid, and we will be pleased to offer suggestions on suitable advisors.

Even if you are eligible for Legal Aid, you can still choose to instruct a barrister privately, using your own funds, under Public Access if you prefer. Our clerks will explain the implications of instructing a barrister privately, and the likely costs you will incur.

We are always happy to accept Legal Aid cases on instructions from a solicitor.  On occasion we have provided initial advice under the Public Access, but for reasons of complexity or otherwise a need arose for a solicitor to be instructed; we have undertaken further work on such cases funded by Legal Aid after those solicitors assisted clients in making a successful application.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept public access instructions on a conditional fee (‘no win no fee’) basis.


The Costs

The cost of instructing a barrister at 4PB will depend on the complexity of your case, the seniority of counsel, the amount of work involved, and the urgency of the work, the type of hearing, and the amount of papers you have, as this affects the reading time that is required before conference and the level of preparation that needs to be done for the hearing, as your barrister will need to be fully appraised of all the relevant facts and circumstances in order to present the case in the most effective way.

The quote provided will either be on an hourly rate or fixed fee (brief fee/ refresher) basis, subject to what is most appropriate for the case and cost effective. A reasonable quote will be provided taking into account all the circumstances of the case estimating preparation time and hearing time required for your case. The current rate of VAT will be added to all fees (unless exemptions apply).

We like to be as open and upfront about our prices as possible, but unfortunately it’s impossible to give guidelines for costs on all types of family law case, and every client involved in one, is unique. We can however, provide a cost guideline for financial disputes arising out of divorce which we have outlined further below.

What we can promise you is that you will never be surprised by the eventual cost of the work that a 4PB direct access barrister does for you: our prices are agreed, and fees need to be received, before the work is done. You retain control of what you spend, and your barrister concentrates on getting the job done.


Financial disputes arising out of divorce

4PB Public Access barristers can advise you and your former partner if you cannot agree financial matters such as the division of assets, whether to sell your home, maintenance payments, or pension sharing during or after a divorce. In such cases you can apply to the court for a financial order. You may need to attend a number of hearings, our public access barristers can represent you at these hearings.

The timescale for your case depends on factors such as barristers’ availability, the value and complexity of your assets, whether you have children, how much you have already agreed with your former partner, and their approach.

The table below provides a range of fixed fees, where the parties have joint assets which are worth less than £300,000.


Initial Conference and Preparation £1500 – £2000
Written advice on your financial dispute £1500 – £2000
Additional conferences if required £1500 – £2000
First appointment (first court hearing exchanging financial information) £2000 – £2500 Brief Fee


Financial dispute resolution appointment (second court hearing to reach a financial settlement) £3000- £4000 Brief Fee
First day of final hearing (if settlement was not reached in the financial dispute resolution appointment) £5000 – £6000 Brief Fee

Please note: Court hearing fees may require an uplift with reference to expenses, dependent on court location, travel time and costs.


Estimated fees are correct as of 31st January 2020, and prices displayed exclude VAT (where applicable). For a quotation please call our direct access clerks, on 020 7427 5200. Please also contact the DA clerks if you and your former partner have joint assets more than £300,000, for a quotation.


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