It is not uncommon for clients to wonder what the difference is between a Barristers and a Solicitor and to questions whether both are required for their legal matter.
Barristers are trained specifically in the Court system. They spend the majority of their time in Court and have a thorough understanding of the law in their given specialty. Barristers represent clients in Court proceedings and provide advice on complex legal matters. They are highly trained in advocacy work but may also work as Mediators and Conciliators in certain situations.
Solicitors are usually the first legal representative you will consult and if you need to go to Court or expert legal opinion is required, then your Solicitor will “brief” a Barrister to do this work. Only in certain circumstances will a Barrister accept instructions from a client without needing to engage a Solicitor.
In 1994 Solicitors were granted the right to present cases in Court as well as prepare cases, while Barristers are trained to present cases in Court specifically and are prohibited from carrying out the preparatory steps that are carried out by Solicitors.
While many Solicitors are qualified to prepare cases and represent clients in Court, many choose to instruct Barristers to appear in superior courts so they can concentrate on preparing the case while a Barrister will be able to focus on the key issues of evidence that need to be presented to the Court and can bring a fresh view to the case.
Whether or not your Solicitor chooses to brief a Barrister will depend on several factors, including:-
1. How complex the case is;
2. Whether the Solicitor is able to represent you in Court;
3. What you as the client request; and
4. The Solicitors availability.
Although Barristers work independently they often have working relationships with particular Solicitors which help them collaborate more effectively for the best possible outcome. Your Solicitor will always advise you if they believe your matter requires the services of a Barrister.
For more information on your legal rights telephone Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699.