Alternative Business Structures – ABS

The introduction of alternative business structures is intended to promote “innovation”, and “diversity” in the provision of legal services. A quarter of all legal service providers have introduced a new improved service in the last three years or under an ABS have emerged to offer additional added value services and include other professional service providers such as accountants.

Whilst many legal service providers choose to innovate innovate and offer new services many Barrister’s chambers have chosen to offer their services directly through the public access scheme and continue to innovate around this offering and acknowledge the need for a more “client focussed” approach.

Direct Access Portal

The direct access portal run in association with the Bar Council, the professional body representing barristers allows businesses and individuals the  access  to a register to find a barrister, mediator or arbitrator. Not all barristers are listed, only those who choose to undertake public access work, and they are restricted to what they can do. The direct access portal was designed to make it easier for the general public to access specialist barristers with effective legal representation. It should hopefully provide a point of access, and hopefully break down the  barriers for certain individuals, small and medium sized businesses to instruct barristers directly

Social Media

In Brief, “Direct Access” barristers can represent clients in court and tribunals, they provide specialist legal advice. Many barristers are aware of the benefits of social media and it is now common place for many of them to be using social media platforms to provide legal updates or free information. The changes in technology will continue to drive the process of change and are slowly redefining the mentality of barristers who are slowing tapping into new markets in this way. With the tech environment ever changing, the legal profession will have to keep up, especially with the changes in technology.


One innovative company, which are making ground breaking headlines, is Barristers4U. They have 1,000 accredited barristers throughout England and Wales and seek to provide clients who have a legal dispute with a wider choice of legal adviser, saving them valuable time and effort in searching and of course cost.

Overall, the wider use of technology to assist clients to search for a solution and legal adviser is on the increase and those able to to deliver in innovative ways will provide  a positive route for all involved.