What is the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor

The role of a solicitor involves having a close relationship with their client and preparing their legal documents for court.  Solicitors keep records and files and are the backbone of legal processes.  While solicitors can appear in court, a Barrister's specialty is as an advocate. As well as your voice in court, in some areas of law Barristers appear for clients in alternative dispute resolution processes as well.  Barristers also provide written advice to assist solicitors in obtaining the best outcome for their clients.

Why do I need a Barrister?

If your solicitor has recommended you hire a Barrister it is because they want to put the odds in your favour for a successful outcome.  Barristers work independently as sole practitioners and have a strict code of practice.  They are generally highly regarded by other members of the profession as well as Magistrates and Judges that may be hearing your case.  A good Barrister will focus on a resolution without lengthy and unnecessary court time, refine the issues, and give straight to the point advice.

Why can't I just hire a Barrister without a solicitor?

A Barrister is restricted by their ethics and code of practice from engaging in solicitors work.  While it is possible, and you can find Barristers that will undertake what is called a "direct brief" from a client, this can cause difficulties due to these ethical restrictions.  You can find Barristers taking direct briefs, often when they are practicing in non-complex areas of law that do not require preparation ordinarily conducted by a solicitor, or when being briefed by professionals in government agencies.

 

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