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Why should I speak to a Barrister?

The distinction between Solicitors and Barristers has become blurred in recent years. Traditionally, Barristers were the advocates, and solicitors were general practitioners who dealt with the clients in respect of a number of different issues. The Bar was a ‘referral profession’ which meant that we had to be ‘instructed’ by a Solicitor.

The situation has now changed. Firstly solicitors began to specialise in certain areas of work, so often they knew as much about a subject as some barristers. Then they began do their own advocacy in the higher courts ‘called rights of audience’ and on occasions stopped instructing Barristers.

The Bar Council has therefore allowed Barristers to take work directly from the public or other professionals. We can’t do everything that a solicitor can do, the main issue is that we can’t hold client funds in a client account.

We can however advise a client from the outset of a case, and point you in the right direction. If it is case we can conduct, we will tell you so, but it is likely that we will say that you need a solicitor who is good at this type of work, and recommend someone for you to go to who we can work with.

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