Solicitor vs Barrister

The legal profession in England and Wales is not fused, unlike the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, and some provinces of Australian and Canada. Here are the differences between solicitor and barrister.

Solicitor
  • Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which operates independently of the Law Society.
  • A solicitor undertakes the general aspects of giving legal advice and conducting legal proceedings.
  • He provides most of the legal services for his clients and serves as a direct point of contact during a case.
  • He keeps the client continually informed of the progress.
  • He must avoid a conflict of interest where his separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more clients in the same or related matter conflict.
  • He may not act against a former client in a different case if he has relevant confidential information about the client.
  • He can represent his clients in lower courts but cannot appear in senior courts unless he has undertaken an additional Higher Rights qualification.

Barrister
  • Barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board, a division of the General Council of the Bar.
  • The profession of barrister in England and Wales is a separate profession from that of solicitor.
  • Also called counsel, they tend to specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation.
  • They are often hired and instructed by a solicitor to represent a case in court.
  • They may involve in the drafting of more specialist advice and provide advocacy.
  • It is mainly barristers who are appointed as judges, and are rarely hired by clients directly.

Solicitors and barristers are two distinct legal professions in the UK. While both are legal professionals, they have different roles, responsibilities, and functions within the legal system.
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