What’s the difference between a Solicitor and a Barrister?

Solicitors are qualified legal professionals who undertake an administrative function amongst other things; the giving of advice, the preparation of legal documents, the negotiation of legal matters and the preparation of Court documentation. Solicitors have specialist areas of practice but equally can be what is termed as general practitioners, and are permitted to advise and act in any area of the law that they consider themselves competent to practice. They have rights of audience in a court of law but are generally confined to the lower courts; the County Courts and Magistrates Courts.

Barristers are also qualified legal professionals, but they usually specialise in a specific area of law or several areas of law. They work collectively from an umbrella ‘Chambers’ and rarely come into general contact with the public in the sense that they will normally only meet a client when the need to give advice face to face arises or they need to assess their client before representing them before a Court.