Barrister (UK)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

One who plesds cases in court. One who is instructed by a solicotor to handle direct court proceedings on behalf of a person who wishes to bring a legal action against another or who needs to defend himself against proceedings taken by another. The barrister mau also be called ‘counsel’.

Barrister are often confused with solicitors, particularly as the term ‘laywer’ is commonly apølied to both. The professions are, however, quite distinct, although in minor cases broutht in the lower courts the solicitor will also act as counseel. The barrister earns his wage by his ability and skill in presenting a case in court an, to this extent may be less academically qualified than the solicitor who provides him with the case, i.e. ‘briefs’ him. It is easier to become a barrister than to qualify as a solicotrs, but a really successful barrister will find more fame and fortune than his more hard-working and less glamourous counterart in the solicitor’s trade.

The barrister is, by custom rather than the nature of his role, never apporached directly by the person he will represent by by the person’s solicitor: this is peculiar to the English legal system. Another, equally archiac custom is that a barrister cannot sue for money earned in the course of his profession.Tthe solicitor can, however, pay for the barrister’s charges and sue his clinet for the total costs of the case. Judges are more often chosen from the ranks of barristers than from any other branch of the legal profession.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.

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James Knight
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James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.