Role of Barrister
• Seen as the senior
branch of the
• Major role is advocacy
or speaking for Barristers have been providing expert advice
someone at court and advocacy since the 13th century. For
many years they had a monopoly on the right
to represent people in the higher courts.
Although that monopoly has gone, the Bar
remains a thriving profession offering high
quality advice and advocacy.
How Barristers are Governed
• Governed by:
• The Senate of Inns of
• And Bar (aka Bar
• Four Inns of Court Although barristers are
primarily regulated by the Bar
Standards Board, the Inns of
Court have an important role
in their education and
training. Indeed, you can only
be a barrister if you have been
quot;Called to the Barquot; by an Inn
of Court. The Inns provide
important library, training and
dining facilities in London.
• There are four Inns of The Inns provide support for barristers and
student barristers through a range of
Court: Lincoln’s Inn, educational activities, lunching and dining
facilities, access to common rooms and
Inner Temple, Middle gardens, and provision of various grants and
Temple and Gray’s Inn. scholarships. One of the key functions of the
Inns is their responsibility for calling barristers
to the Bar. Anyone wishing to train for the Bar
must join one of the Inns and it is the Inns
alone which have the power to call a student
to the Bar. Alongside this responsibility, the
Inns also have a role in administering
disciplinary tribunals to deal with more serious
complaints against barristers.
How to become a barrister
• • Academic Stage
• • This consists of an
undergraduate degree in
law, or undergraduate
• Pupillage degree in any other
subject at the minimum
of a 2ii. If you choose the
route of an
undergraduate degree in
a subject other than Law
you must complete a one
year conversion course
• Vocational Stage • Those who are not solicitors,
but have been licensed to
• You must join one of the four
argue in court, are said to have
Inns before you commence
been quot;called to the Barquot; or to
this stage of training. The Bar
have received a quot;call to the
Vocational Course, one year
full time or two years part
time. Once you have
successfully completed the
BVC you will be Called to the
Bar by your Inn. You will also
Like being admitted or enrolled.
have to undertake twelve
qualifying sessions (previously
known as quot;diningquot;) before Call
to the Bar.
• Pupillage consists of
one year spent in an
chambers or another
What is pupillage?
• Pupillage is the final stage of the
route to qualification at the Bar,
in which the pupil gains practical
training under the supervision of
an experienced barrister.
• Pupillage is divided into two
– the non-practising six months
during which pupils shadow, and
work with, their approved pupil
– and the second practising six
months when pupils, with their
approved pupil supervisor’s
permission, can undertake to
supply legal services and exercise
rights of audience.
What is mini-pupillage?
• A mini-pupillage is a short period of
work experience (usually one week)
in a set of chambers. Spending time
in this way can provide an excellent
insight into life as a barrister.
Relevant mini-pupillage experience
can be of great benefit to pupillage
applicants, as it gives the pupil an
opportunity to impress members of
chambers and to gain a better
understanding of the different areas
of practice as well as the “feel” of the
• These impressions are invaluable and
cannot always be gleaned from
websites and legal directories.
• Dining - This continues to be the • They have 12 diners with senior
main way that student barristers members of the profession at the
amass training units for quot;Callquot; Inns of Court.
(see above). By dining at his/her
Inn of Court, the student barrister • This is to encourage conversation
is expected to discuss and discussion in a formal social
professional issues with senior environment
benchers, develop a network of
useful professional contacts and
• Can’t help thinking there is a
take part in a range of
educational events. Each dinner degree of social grooming.
attracts one quot;Training Unitquot;. Units
may also be awarded for
attendance at training days
(normally 2 units) or Training
weekends (3 units). A total of 12
units are required to satisfy the
requirements for quot;Callquot;.
• Queen’s Counsel
• Senior barristers may
apply to become a QC
• This is known as taking
• The QC’s higher status
attracts higher fees
• Tend to work on
exceptional cases and
where a client has
requested a QC
Appointment of QC
• Formally the role of the • What happens if the Queen
Lord Chancellor but dies and we get a king?
– Lead to concern of the
transparency of the
– Suspicion of old boy network
– Concerns over role of state in
conferring QC status
• Read the QC • What’s an AG?
Appointment Notes • What’s a SG?
• How many references
must an applicant for
Role of a Barrister
• Q: What does a split
A barrister is a lawyer found in many
common law jurisdictions that employ a
split profession (as opposed to a fused
profession) in relation to legal
• In split professions, the other type of
lawyer is the solicitor. Solicitors have more
direct contact with the clients, whereas
barristers often only become involved in a
case once advocacy before a court is
needed by the client.
• Barristers are also engaged by solicitors to
provide specialist advice on points of law.
• Barristers are rarely instructed by clients
directly (although this occurs frequently in
tax matters). Instead, the client's solicitors
will instruct a barrister on behalf of the
client when appropriate.
• Zahida Manzoor CBE,
• Complaints can be made to
their Inns, the Bar Council or
to a complaints
commissioner to investigate.
In extreme cases it is possible
for the senate of the Inn to
disbar a barrister!
• Barristers can be sued for
negligence. They would be
disciplined if they failed to
maintain the standard of
their code of conduct.
Legal Services Ombudsman
• A Legal Services Zahida Manzoor CBE is the Legal Services
Ombudsman (LSO) for England and Wales.
Ombudsman was She is completely independent of the legal
profession and a non lawyer.
established to handle • Zahida Manzoor CBE is supported by
around 25 office staff, including a team of
the complaints by the investigating officers who carry out
Bar Council. detailed investigation work.
• Her powers derive from the Courts and
Legal Services Act 1990. In creating the
role of Ombudsman, it was Parliament’s
intention to protect the interests of the
consumers of legal services – clients, and
members of the public. She does this by
ensuring that the professional bodies
conduct fair, thorough and efficient
investigations of complaints about their
Solicitor V Barrister
• The practical difference between the two professions is twofold:
• The barrister will usually be the lawyer who represents litigants as
their advocate before the courts of that jurisdiction. A barrister will
usually have rights of audience in the higher courts, whereas other
legal professionals will have more limited access, or will need to
take additional qualifications to do so. In this regard, the profession
of barrister corresponds to that part of the role of legal
professionals found in civil law jurisdictions relating to appearing in
trials or pleading cases before the courts. Barristers used to have a
major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and
reviewing evidence. In some areas of law, that is still the case. In
others, it is relatively common for a barrister to only receive a
quot;briefquot; from an instructing solicitor to represent a client at trial a
day or two before the hearing.
Another reason why barristers are so
• Barristers often have a more specialised
knowledge of case-law and precedent.
• When a solicitor in general practice is
confronted with an unusual point of law, they
sometimes seek the quot;opinion of counselquot; on
• How many dinners must a Barrister eat before
they can practice?
• How many Inns of court are there?
• What are the names of the 4 Inns of court?
• What are the 3 stages to becoming a
• If you don’t do the dinners what are the two
other ways you can fulfil your barrister