A website designed to help the public instruct barristers directly without the need for solicitors has relaunched with the support of the Bar Council.

Northern Circuit members Pru Beever and Mike Whyatt created the site a year ago and have joined forces with the Bar Council to replace its direct access register.

All those on the Bar Council’s existing online direct access directory will be transferred to the new site over the summer.

Find a Barrister is free for consumers to use and barristers pay no fees to be listed on it other than the £100-a-year Bar Representation Fee, if they do not do so already.

Beever and Whyatt developed and financed the portal jointly with Beever’s husband, retired airline pilot David Jupe. The three have entered into an “equal partnership” with the Bar Council.

Beever, Whyatt and Jupe are directors for the company that owns the portal and three others have been provided by the Bar Council.

Following the relaunch of the site in Manchester, Bar chairman Alistair MacDonald QC said: “Innovation in the barristers’ profession is clearly alive and well. The Direct Access Portal was designed with one aim in mind; to make it easier for the public to access the quality services that barristers provide.”

He said: “There are now thousands of barristers able to provide legal advice and other services directly to members of the public, potentially saving them money in the process.”

Beever and Whyatt said: “Our motivation for creating the Direct Access Portal was not to make a profit but to simply make life easier for anyone looking for a barrister. There is no catch.”

“We never envisaged that this would catch the eye of the Bar Council. It was never part of a masterplan, but we are delighted to have the organisation’s weight backing this barrister-grown innovation,” they added.