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Is There a Separation of The Professions of Barrister and Solicitor - Essay Example

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The essay "Is There a Separation of The Professions of Barrister and Solicitor?" describes the difference between professions of barrister and solicitor. Barristers differ basically with solicitor attorneys that they have rights of audience in the higher courts whereas the solicitor has limited one…
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Is There a Separation of The Professions of Barrister and Solicitor
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Is There a Separation of The Professions of Barrister and Solicitor

Download file to see previous pages... Barristers inform the court of important laws, statutes and precedents, draft legal pleadings, argue or support and provide opinion whichever suits his belief that justice will be served. They may also assist for a party when asked to by a solicitor and serve as intermediaries between clients and counsellors. They are divided into Queen’s Counsel or QC and junior barristers with the QC appointed by the Lord Chancellor. There has been seen a shortage of QC so that they demand “extremely high fees” making litigations cost high (Legal Directory, 2011, P 5). Solicitors on the other hand deal directly with the clients and are allowed to advertise their service. They conduct and manage daily administration of preparing, reviewing and drafting merits of a legal case and appoint barristers. Reeves (1986) has argued that the separation was necessary to maintain a fresh and objective perspective for client which becomes rare where the professions are merged; judges were appointed from senior and experienced barristers expected as independent and therefore sustain the role in the judiciary; access of small firms to all specialist barristers allows them to compete with higher chances in any legal proceedings; the barristers are expected to provide a more appropriate advice to client where claims or defence may be conducted improperly. In addition, it was pointed out that the lawyer profession has expanded to being a broker, financier, entrepreneur, accountant, land agent, and others they may so wish, whereas the barrister has been limited to law and advocacy (Cohen, 1988). On the other hand, the proponents to the merge advance legitimate and strong points. The Economist of London observed that “…Some barristers are not specialists, some solicitors are. Some solicitors are better advocates than many barristers,” (1983, p 25). In addition, the Financial Times (1986) also pointed out that there is a much more rigorous training and education requirement for solicitors making them more qualified specialists so that it is expected of them to perform well for the benefit of their clients, which is the main reason why they were chosen and paid for in the first place. The separation has been seen as historical in nature with the notion that the barristers assist generalist solicitors. One historical fact that Cohen (1988) emphasised was that, “Legal historians do not discuss the question of the solicitor’s part in the denial of the right of audience in the courts to attorneys,” (p 13). But the Financial Times (1986) insisted that, “It is ridiculous to assert that, after six months’ pupillage, a barrister is better equipped to appear in a court than an experienced solicitor,” (p 20). The absurdity is highlighted further with the fact that solicitors have a right of audience in the European Court of Justice considered as a more senior court than the High Court, Court of Appeal or House of Lords (Law Society, 1983). Even Sir Gordon Borrie admitted to the difficulty of the situation, himself being a barrister. “It seems to me that the arguments in favour of the [barristers’ monopoly on pleading in the High Court] are difficult to sustain on their merits,” (Law Society, 1983, p 193). Reeves (1986) also pointed out that that the multiplicity of legal advisers makes litigations costs higher; and that there is the question of objectivity between the solicitor who has referred a barrister to a client and the solicitor who may conduct improper actions. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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