Briefing Barristers

A barrister is a specialist advocate with deep expertise in the law, legal strategy and dispute resolution.

Barristers are most commonly briefed by a solicitor on behalf of a client.

However, a barrister can be briefed ‘directly’ (ie directly by the client, not by the client’s solicitor) in certain circumstances.

Criminal Matters: A barrister can be briefed directly in a criminal proceeding in the Magistrates' Courts.

Commercial/Civil Matters: A barrister can be briefed directly in civil matters:

  • by in-house corporate counsel with a current practising certificate;
  • by a solicitor or officer of a government department or agency whose usual duties include engaging lawyers; and
  • by a member of the public.

A barrister can be arranged to discuss your matter (in some circumstances without cost for up to one hour).

A barrister is bound by professional conduct rules. In accepting direct briefs, a barrister is bound by the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 and in particular, rules 11, 13, 16, 21, 22 and 101(k). A copy of those rules can be found here.

Circumstances may require a client to retain an instructing solicitor, including at short notice.

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