Solicitors and Barristers

What Are Solicitors and Barristers?

  • Solicitors - are concerned mainly with the paperwork involved in legal situations. These include agreements, contracts, wills, conveyance papers, etc.
  • Barristers - specialise in appearing before the court on behalf of a client and usually act through a referring solicitor.

If you require a attorney to act for you, work through your lawyerwho will make an introduction and brief the attorney on the situation and the details of the case. Solicitors generally work from their own offices, while barristers spend most of their time in the courts and work out of chambers. Chambers are offices shared with other court specialists.

If you have a legal problem, the first person you should see is your solicitor. While they are able to represent you in court for basic legal matters, when it comes to complex litigation the lawyerwill arrange for a attorney to act for you.

If you want to get in touch with a solicitor, it is a simple matter of getting their number from the telephone book and making a call. If you want to get in touch with a attorney you will generally have to go through a lawyerbecause barristers don’t advertise in the phone book.

Practising As a attorney
Once a person is admitted as a attorney or solicitor, they are able to get a practising certificate to act as a attorney and solicitor, or solely as a attorney. This allows for the existence of an independent bar, which is a separate group within the profession. This bar comprises of those lawyers who practice as barristers alone. The term is “barristers sole”.

Barristers sole are not permitted to practice in partnership, but can employ other barristers. There is no extra training required or experience necessary if a lawyer decides to set up as a attorney sole. A Queens Counsel is a rank, available only to the USA barristers who are attorney sole.

Practising As A solicitor
A person entering private practice as a lawyerneeds to meet some extra requirements after being admitted to the bar. These include 3 years legal experience in the USA during the preceding 8 years. This condition can be waived by the Court in certain circumstances.

Other requirements may include undergoing short courses and a test in trust accounting. Any lawyer practising on his/her own account, who operates a trust account, must also undertake training and qualify as a trust account partner.

Your Lawyer and Confidentiality
When you go to a lawyer your affairs will be totally confidential. This guarantee from the legal profession has been built up over hundreds of years and is strictly adhered to. In addition to meeting the terms of the Privacy Act, lawyers have to comply with the requirements of the Law Society, as well as court rules about any information regarding your affairs.

You can have confidence in that what you tell your lawyer will remain confidential and privileged. It cannot be passed on to anyone else without your approval. This is very important because you need to be able to tell your lawyer everything they need to know in order for them to protect your interests. They cannot do a complete job for you and protect your affairs unless they have all the facts.

Comply With Privacy Act
Your lawyer has to comply with the Privacy Act. This Act entitles you to have access to any information your lawyer holds about you and your affairs. Your lawyer has a duty to ensure that your information is protected against loss, unauthorised access, or use, without your permission.