• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Barristers and Solicitors

Extracts from this document...


(a) Outline the work undertaken by barristers and solicitors. For more than a hundred years the legal profession in England and Wales has been divided into barristers and solicitors, and each branch has until recently had its own role to play. Solicitors are traditionally seen as the general practitioners of the legal profession, providing advice to the public across a wide legal spectrum, while barristers are seen primarily as advocates. Neither of these pictures is completely true. Many solicitors do still work in "High Street" offices and offer general legal advice and other legal services to the public at large. Most "High Street" firms give advice and assistance in the drafting and execution of wills, in conveyancing, in family disputes, in personal injuries claims, and in criminal matters, and many deal with other areas such as employment law, immigration law and housing law. In these fields they can give initial advice, can try to negotiate a settlement, can draft contracts and other documents, and can sometimes represent their clients in court if necessary. ...read more.


In the past fifteen years, a number of changes in law and practice have broken down the barriers between barristers and solicitors (and those between solicitors and other law workers), so that the former rigid distinctions have been blurred. There are very few legal jobs that are now the monopoly of one or other branch of the profession, though individual lawyers have unsurprisingly been slow to change the working habits of a lifetime. The most obvious example of this is in relation to rights of audience - the right to represent a client in court. Solicitors have always had a right of audience in the lower courts, but since 1990 they have been able to apply for rights of audience in higher courts such as the Crown Court and the High Court. They can thus obtain the rights barristers have always enjoyed, though so far only about 1000 solicitors (out of 80 000 or so) have taken advantage of the opportunity. As an extension of this, solicitors are now eligible for appointment as Queen's Counsel and as High Court judges, though only very few have actually been appointed. ...read more.


Again, it used formerly to be the case that solicitors were spread fairly evenly across the country while barristers worked mainly in London. That distinction too is blurring to some extent: although barristers are more numerous in London than elsewhere, they can be found in all provincial Crown Court centres. On the other hand, the growth of the very large City firms has led to an increasing concentration of solicitors in the capital. The differences that remain on paper are almost trivial. Barristers (but not solicitors) are theoretically bound by the "cab-rank rule", though in practice any barrister who wanted to refuse a case could almost certainly do so. Barristers wear wigs in court, while solicitors do not. And barristers are paid an agreed fee for the case, rather than an hourly rate like solicitors. All these things could very easily change. Which leaves only the question why barristers and solicitors are still regarded as members of two separate professions with different qualification and training requirements. The distinctions are now so blurred that it is surely time to establish a single profession with a single membership qualification, whose members might still specialise to a greater or lesser extent as they chose. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Law of Tort section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Law of Tort essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Taking selected areas of the civil and or criminal law, evaluate whether sportsmen and ...

    4 star(s)

    that there is a relationship of proximity and that it is reasonable to impose a duty in this area. In the case of Woolridge v Sumner 1963 2 QB 43 'the duty of care which a competitor or participant in a sports game owes to a spectator depends on the

  2. What is the meaning of intention in English criminal law? Is it always possible ...

    D.P.P.; sub nom. R. v. Hyam (1975). This has an important role to play in Offences Against the Person under the 1861 Act and property offences such as deception, which can involve lying recklessly (s.15 Theft Act 1968).coff ffr seffffw orff ffk inff foff ff: On the query of

  1. In the scenario for this report the parties have committed certain crimes - give ...

    The mental element of the crime of theft is, dishonesty with the intention to permanently deprive. There are exceptions of the theft act, s.2 (1), which are belief that in law they have a right to it, belief consent would be given or belief that the person whom it belongs to cannot be found.

  2. Murder, manslaughter, assaults, sexual offences and defences.

    harm can be so unpredictable that anyone prepared to act so wickedly has little ground for complaint if, where death results, he is convicted and punished as severely as one who intended to kill.' Belfon, R v [1976] CA: - [Mens rea - Assault - specific intent needed for Sec 18] Not Guilty of s.18 Guilty 20 unlawful wounding.

  1. Intoxication – The Legal Viewpoint.

    defend himself; in doing so, he actually killed V by cramming eight inches of sheet down her throat. He was acquitted of murder because the jury were not sure that he had the necessary intention, being intoxicated, but convicted of manslaughter.


    Causation is both a question of fact and law. It has to be first established that there is a factual link between Tom's act (of steering the car into the ditch) and Sara's death. This is resolved by applying the 'but-for' test - 'but for' the act of Tom would Sara have died?

  1. I am the company solicitor for Everlasting Estates Ltd., and have been required to ...

    The latter employee, contrary to statutory regulations, was not wearing a hard hat and there is evidence that his injuries would have been far less serious, had the regulations been complied with. It appears that the hard hats were available but the Everlasting Estates Ltd., did not supervise their use.

  2. In this report, the differences between contractual liability and tortuous liability are explained. In ...

    On the other hand, the case of Sam and his employer is an exception. According to Common Sense, Common Safety, October 2010: ?Police officers should not be at risk of investigation or prosecution under health and safety legislation when engaged in the course of their duties if they have to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work