CALL US: 01823 331919      DX: 32146TAUNTON

clerks@octagonchambers.co.uk

29 Park Street
Taunton
TA1 4DG

Welcome

Established to meet the need for high quality legal advice and advocacy in Somerset and the West Country, Octagon Chambers has increased in size and legal practice to match the demand.

Public and Licensed Access


Public Access

Following key changes in the law in 2004, anyone can now go directly to a barrister without having to involve a solicitor. The barrister's role remains essentially the same as when they are approached by a solicitor or another intermediary. Barristers can advise you on your legal status or rights, draft and send documents for you and can represent you in court, tribunals or mediations.  Barristers can also negotiate on your behalf and can attend employment or investigative interviews and hearings where appropriate.

This process will inevitably save an individual considerable financial and administrative expense. This process is called "Direct Access" or "Public Access".

For many cases the public access scheme allows you to go directly to an expert barrister for advice, representation and drafting. As of 1st April 2013 the Public Access Regulations have been relaxed and individuals are now able to instruct a barrister directly even if eligible for Legal Aid. For further details please click here.

There are however still some cases and situations in which you will need to instruct a solicitor or another intermediary as well as a barrister. We are able to advise fully on matters and maintain excellent working relationships with local firms of solicitors to ensure you receive the best advice possible.

Licensed Access

Licensed access enables organisations, with appropriate experience and expertise, to instruct a barrister direct without the assistance of a solicitor. A suitably qualified organisation has to obtain a license from the Access to the Bar Committee of the Bar Council, after which they can instruct Counsel direct.

Please find following list of those currently on the list, however, all Licensed Access bodies are updated and listed on the Bar Standards Boar website at Annexe F1- Licensed Access and Recognition.

Any member of any  of the bodies referred to below are deemed to be an authorised licensed access client (including in relation to matters concerning that member's clients or customers) but only in a matter of a kind which falls generally within the professional expertise of the members of the relevant body; and not for the purpose of briefing counsel to appear in or exercise any right of audience  before the judicial committee of The House of Lords, The Privy Council, The Supreme Court, The Crown Court, a County Court or the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Part I - Accountants and Taxation Advisers

  • THE ASSOCIATION OF AUTHORISED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
  • ASSOCIATION OF TAXATION TECHNICIANS
  • THE CHARTERED ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS
  • THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS
  • INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
  • THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS IN IRELAND
  • INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS IN SCOTLAND
  • THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF TAXATION
  • THE INSTITUTE OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANTS

PART II - INSOLVENCY PRACTITIONERS

  • INSOLVENCY PRACTITIONERS ASSOCIATION

PART III - ARCHITECTS, SURVEYORS AND TOWN PLANNERS

  • THE ARCHITECTS REGISTRATION COUNCIL OF THE UK
  • THE ARCHITECTS AND SURVEYORS INSTITUTE
  • ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTANT ARCHITECTS
  • THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS
  • THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS
  • THE ROYAL TOWN PLANNING INSTITUTE

PART IV - ENGINEERS

  • THE INSTITUTION OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERS
  • THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERING SURVEYORS
  • THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
  • THE INSTITUTION OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
  • INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS
  • THE INSTITUTION OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS

PART V - VALUERS

  • THE INCORPORATED SOCIETY OF VALUERS & AUCTIONEERS

PART VI - ACTUARIES

  • THE FACULTY OF ACTUARIES
  • INSTITUTE OF ACTUARIES

PART VII - CHARTERED SECRETARIES AND ADMINISTRATORS

  • THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED SECRETARIES AND  ADMINISTRATORS

PART VIII - INSURERS

  • THE ASSOCIATION OF AVERAGE ADJUSTERS
  • THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF LOSS ADJUSTERS
  • THE CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE

PART IX - GROUP LICENSES

  • ACADEMY OF EXPERTS
  • ASSOCIATION OF BUILDING ENGINEERS
  • ASSOCIATION OF LAW COSTS DRAFTSMAN
  • CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING
  • CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF HOUSING
  • ENGINEERING COUNCIL (UK)
  • INSTITUTE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES (FORMERLY THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BANKERS)
  • INSTITUTE OF LEGAL EXECUTIVES
  • INSTITUTE OF PROFESSIONAL WILLWRITERS
  • SOCIETY OF FINANCIAL ADVISORS
  • SOCIETY OF TRUST AND ESTATE PRACTITIONERS
  • THE LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE
  • LICENSED ACCESS LICENSEES (SEPARATE LIST AVAILABLE ON THE BAR COUNCIL WEB-SITE)

Additionally, an arbitrator (including for these purposes an adjudicator under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996) but only when instructing counsel for the purpose of advising on any point of law practice or procedure arising in or connected with an arbitration in which he has been or may be appointed shall be deemed to be an authorised licensed access client.
For further information including the full rules governing barristers accepting work under this scheme, click on the link below;

www.barcouncil.org.uk/guidance/generalandintrodutory

APPLYING FOR A LICENCE

Those seeking a license to enable them to instruct barristers direct must complete an application form and return it to; The General Council of the Bar, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ.
If you require help or advice with this process, please contact one of the Clerks, who will be pleased to assist.

DOWNLOADS

Licensed Access Guidance Handbook for Clients

Licensed Access Terms of Work

Guidance for Lay Clients


 

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