Concept and Differences Between a Lawyer, a Solicitor, and a Barrister in the UK

A better understanding of the concepts: Lawyer, Solicitor, and Barrister in the UK.

A lawyer is anyone who could give legal advice. So, this term encompasses Solicitors, Barristers, and legal executives.

A Solicitor is a lawyer who gives legal advice and represents the clients in the courts. They deal with business matters, contracts, conveyance, wills, inheritance, etc. So, they work with any legal matter as well represent the clients in the Courts.

Solicitors in England and Wales are represented by the Law Society of England and Wales (from which TLACORP is a member of its International Dept.). Solicitors from Scotland are represented by the Law Society of Scotland.

A barrister is a lawyer who is specialized in representing clients in the Courts. They have an audience in all Courts.

In the UK, Barristers are regulated by the Barrister’s Association of the same jurisdiction in which they are competent.

Usually, Barristers are approached by the Solicitors, and are contracted by them, to give legal advice in the particular area in which they are a specialist when the case is brought to Court.

Normally, the Solicitor engages directly with the client and is contracted by him. He makes the preparatory work of the case, investigation, consultancy, etc. And, when the case demands a Courts case, should the Solicitor require special advice, contracts the services of the Barrister. At this point, the Solicitor acts as attorney of the client, he represents the client. In instance, the barrister, acts as per instruction of the Solicitor.

New rules in the UK now allow a barrister to give legal advice and to contact directly with the client.

USA legal system does not make a distinction between Solicitor and Barristers, and they refer to both of them as “Lawyers”.


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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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