What is a Barrister?
A barrister is an independent specialist in Courtroom advocacy and litigation. Whilst a barrister may be most recognised for their advocacy skills in the Courtroom, a barrister’s extensive training and experience ensures their strengths also centre around both judicial and non-judicial Dispute Resolution. It is important to note that you cannot contact a barrister directly and therefore, it important to engage a solicitor first.
What is the difference between a Solicitor and a Barrister?
Put simply, a barrister is a lawyer who is specifically trained in advocacy and therefore represents clients in a Courtroom setting, whereas a solicitor is responsible for the day to day management of your case.
What do I do if I need a Barrister?
In most instances, the solicitor that you have currently engaged will inform a barrister if your circumstance requires one. Solicitors usually select ones they know are suited to your particular case and that they may have previously worked with. However, you can also search for one in each Australian state. Alternative ways of searching for a barrister include:
- By searching for a barrister through the NSW Bar Association (http://find-a-barrister.nswbar.asn.au/);
- By searching for a barrister by name or practice area at List A Barristers (http://barristers.com.au/);
- By making a search on the Law Society when the name of the barrister is known; or
- By searching for a barrister by name on the website of Legal Aid (http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/applying-for-legal-aid/panels-database).
You may also know a barrister you would like to act for you or search for one yourself prior to engaging a solicitor. In NSW, the most effective way to find a barrister is to search for one on the NSW Bar Association’s website. If the name of a barrister is known, you can easily make a search of the name to receive contact details. In the event that you do not know the name you may locate a barrister through searching their practice area.
What to keep in mind when engaging a Barrister
- Dealing with a barrister
- Barristers usually do not deal directly with clients. they require that a solicitor be engaged
- You must keep in mind that there are great differences between each barrister’s daily fees therefore you must be aware of how they calculate their cost.
- Most of them charge per day.
- Selecting a barrister with experience in defending the type of case you are charged with is extremely important.
- Specific knowledge and skills may be important in highly technical cases such as those centred around fraud or sexual assault.
- Skills in the courtroom
- It is of great importance that the barrister is able to perform well in court.
- In order to grasp a better understanding of a barrister’s performance it is important to conduct your own research. For example, reading testimonials from previous clients.
Need Legal Advice?
If you have a dispute you may consider engaging a barrister. For further information and legal advice contact our experienced solicitors.