A barrister is a highly skilled and knowledgeable attorney who advocates in the courts on behalf of the client. This developed in England under the common law Westminster system over four hundred years ago. The profession of barrister/court advocate is deemed a specialisation that, in addition to being a jurist-lawyer, the advocate-barrister is regarded as the supreme specialist in court advocacy; highly reputed within the legal fraternity and respected by society for their astute knowledge of the law and its application. By utilising sharp intellect in understanding legal matters, legislation and case law; matters are argued with high level of skill and acute legal knowledge to achieve the best result for the client.
Barristers & Solicitors
Solicitors are lawyers engaged in broad general legal work. Where matters involve the higher courts, solicitors will engage a barrister to analyse the case and often request legal opinion as to the level of success of the matter if it were to be litigated in court. When instructed by the client, the solicitor will brief the barrister on the matter of his client, and the process of court litigation then enters the barristers' domain.
Dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, adjudication)
Some barristers engage in alternative dispute resolution; primarily acting either as arbitrator, neutral third party mediator or mediator-representative for the client. Some also engage as adjudicators in various disputes.
Direct access by the general public
A member of the public who directly accesses the barrister's representations without the use of a solicitor is conditionally accepted under the relevant rules. However, barristers may advise the prospective client to seek a solicitor for initial representation.
The barrister utilises legal knowledge and advocacy skills for the purpose of attaining the best possible result for the client in court. Barristers also give written legal opinions to solicitors regarding a matter of legal complexity which the solicitor may require to make a determination in a case. Unlike solicitors who may specialise in one area of law, barristers often specialise in several areas and excel in both their knowledge of their respective specialisation and their application of their knowledge advocating in court.
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