What are the two types of lawyers in the UK?

Asked by: Moshe Ferry  |  Last update: July 31, 2023
Score: 4.3/5 (11 votes)

solicitor, one of the two types of practicing lawyers in England and Wales—the other being the barrister, who pleads cases before the court.

What's a lawyer called in the UK?

Here in the UK, 'lawyer' is not used to describe a specific role or position within the legal system, but is instead used as an umbrella term that covers anyone working as a legal practitioner. Solicitors, barristers, conveyancers, advocates, arbitrators, and chartered legal executives are all types of lawyer.

Why are lawyers called solicitors in the UK?

In Britain, solicitors (first used in the 16th century) originally worked only in a particular branch of the legal system, the courts of equity; today they are lawyers who advise clients and arrange settlements “behind the scenes” but don't argue cases in court.

Why does England have barristers and solicitors?

This split profession has its roots in the 13th century when two branches of the profession were established: pleaders (later barristers) and attorneys. Originally, barristers had a monopoly on the right of audience in the higher courts, while solicitors had a monopoly on the “conduct of litigation”.

How many types of lawyers are there in the UK?

'Lawyer' is a broad term to define any licensed legal practitioner. This includes a range of specific professions, including barristers, solicitors and legal executives. Each subset of the term 'lawyer' specialises in both an area of law and a specific set of tasks in line with their role.


28 related questions found

Are lawyers called solicitors in the UK?

A lawyer is a term that describes anyone who is licensed and can provide legal advice or represent clients in court. It includes solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives. Both terms, lawyers and solicitors, are used interchangeably in the UK but essentially mean the same thing.

What is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?

In the legal system of England and Wales, both solicitors and barristers are legal professionals who have distinct roles and responsibilities. The main difference is that a barrister defends people in Court through effective public speaking and advocacy, while a solicitor does legal work outside Court.

What is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor in England?

The basic way to define the difference between barristers and solicitors is that a barrister mainly defends people in court, publicly speaking as an advocate on their behalf, whereas a solicitor primarily performs legal work that takes place outside of the courtroom.

What is the difference between a solicitor and barrister in the UK?

The majority of a solicitor's work will take place outside of court, although there may be times when they are required to attend. A barrister will represent their clients in court and are often called upon to provide specialist advice in the legal practice area they specialise in.

Do you need a degree to be a barrister in England?

To become a barrister, you'll need: a degree (along with the conversion course if it's a non-law degree) to complete the vocational component. to complete the pupillage/work-based component.

What is the US equivalent of a barrister?

Barristers are involved in courtroom advocacy and litigation. They are similar to “trial lawyers” or “litigators” in America, although “trial lawyers” or “litigators” in America may, unlike barristers, perform tasks beyond courtroom advocacy.

Do barristers still wear wigs?

Yet, new court dress rules were implemented in 2007, and barrister wigs were mainly phased out. Appearances in the family or civil court and before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom no longer required wearers to wear wigs. However, lawyers still prefer to wear wigs during legal proceedings.

Is solicitor British or American English?

Solicitor is the British English term for a lawyer who gives legal advice and prepares documents, for example when you are buying a house, and sometimes has the right to speak in a court of law.

What is a trial lawyer called in England?

Barristers in England and Wales are one of the two main categories of lawyers in England and Wales, the other being solicitors. Barristers have traditionally had the role of handling cases for representation in court, both defence and prosecution.

How are lawyers addressed in the UK?

In the UK, Esquire is used more generally and does not necessarily suggest that the addressee is a barrister or a solicitor.

What are criminal lawyers called in the UK?

Barristers in criminal cases are best known for being specialist courtroom advocates. They both prosecute and defend in the vast majority of serious and high profile criminal cases and provide specialist legal advice.

What is more prestigious solicitor or barrister?

The barrister has historically a higher prestige socially and professionally. The barrister in many ways is in business for himself (he is his own boss) relatively more the solicitor, who is more of a salaried worker in most practical instances.

What is a barrister salary UK?

The average salary for a barrister in the UK is £89,200 gross per year, £5,030 net per month, according to Jobted, 202% higher than the UK's national average. Barristers also average bonus payments of £4,900 per year and profit sharing incomes of £1,870 per year.

Who gets paid more a barrister or a solicitor UK?

Solicitors have a more stable income but the top barristers get paid more than most top solicitors; although the average solicitor may be paid more. Add to that the one year barristers have to spend in pupillage/deviling and the risks of taking the barrister path are higher.

What is silk in British law?

Silk lawyers, also known as Queen's Counsel (QC), are elite barristers or advocates in the UK legal profession who have been selected for their exceptional knowledge, experience, and expertise.

What is a barrister in the UK?

In the UK, the role of barristers is to be specialists in court advocacy and independent sources of legal advice to their clients. UK barristers are most likely to be self-employed and working in chambers.

What is the difference between a barrister and a silk?

Upon the death of the Queen all QCs immediately became KCs. The title “silk lawyer” originates from the silk gowns that KCs wear in court, which distinguishes them from junior barristers who wear wool gowns.

What does it mean to get silk?

Queen's Counsel is a status, conferred by the Crown, which is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court. As members can wear silk gowns of a particular design, the award of Queen's Counsel is known informally as taking silk, and hence QCs are often colloquially called silks.

Is Harvey Specter a barrister?

Harvey Specter is a fictional corporate lawyer from US TV-series Suits.

Do lawyers in England still wear wigs?

Before this time, British lawyers had a simple dress code, and were only expected to have short hair and trimmed beards. Although wigs have since long gone out of fashion in society, people in the legal profession continue to wear them.