Mark these statements T (true) or F (false), according to the information in
the text. Find the part of the text that gives the correct information.
1 If you have any kind of legal question the first person you consult is a barrister.
2 A barrister and a solicitor are both qualified lawyers in the UK.
3‘Preparing a brief for counsel’ means a solicitor writes a detailed description of a case so as to inform the expert (the barrister) of all the facts and main legal points.
4 A solicitor cannot speak in a higher court.
5 A barrister in the UK is an independent qualified lawyer.
6 If you want to work for a law firm and receive a regular salary, you should become a solicitor.
7 There are more solicitors than barristers.
8 Barristers often specialize in particular areas of the law, like property or contracts.
9 Barristers are only liable to clients out of court.
C Legal professionals
Every legal system needs professionals to provide legal services. These
systems are organized in many different ways. In England this work is
carried out by two groups of professionals – solicitors and barristers.
Below is a list of tasks carried out by solicitors and barristers. Classify them
into the appropriate column.
advising clients on general legal issues
advising clients on specialist legal issues
advising on litigation advising on tax matters
advocacy in courtsadvocacy in the lower courts
commercial work conveyancing of houses
dealing with commercial transactions
drafting of documents in connection with litigation
making wills preparing cases
share and other property dealings
advocacy in the lower courts
advocacy in all courts
BComplete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets.
Solicitor or barrister?
The solicitor is the first point of contact with the law for a client in the UK. The solicitor 1) __________ (listen) carefully to the client, making sure their needs 2) ________ clearly _______ (understand) and then 3) ________ (explain) the legal position and 4) ________ (tender) advice. By contrast, barristers 5) ________ only ________ (see) the client in the company of a briefing solicitor. The barrister 6) _______ (be) the specialist with particular skills in advocacy, a consultant who 7) _________ (examine) the case and
8) ________ (decide) what line to take in court. There 9) ______ (be) only a few solicitors who 10) _______ (allow) to present cases in the higher courts. Many more solicitors 11) _________ (work) in their litigation departments and 12) ________ (spend) much of their time 13) ________ (prepare) briefs for counsel. Barristers 14) ________ (be) self-employed in the independent Bar. Solicitors 15)______ (be) normally salaried and may 16) _________ (offer) a share in the profits of the practice if they are successful.
BPut the right word for these definitions.
1 … is a lawyer who gives advice to his clients and prepares documents.
2 … is a lawyer who specialized in presenting cases in front of a judge and has
the right of audience.
3… is a lawyer who employs barristers to argue a case.
4 … is a lawyer who is not directly paid by a client.
Over to you
Imagine you are a family solicitor. Give advice to someone who asks your professional opinion about a financial matter. Your client has asked you whether she should invest money she has inherited in the stock market or place it in the bank. Explain that you feel she should consult a financial expert first. Invite her to discuss any tax implications with her tax adviser.