What is the difference between a Solicitor and a Barrister?

In the next edition of my monthly blog, I will address a very common question that arises in my professional life: What is the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor!

In Ireland, the legal profession is divided between solicitors and barristers and sometimes there is confusion between the two roles which actually exists to complement each other.

Both sides of the profession have different legal qualifications, with solicitors qualifying from the Law Society at Blackhall Place who are then admitted to the Roll of Solicitors Ireland. Barristers qualify from the Kings Inns and are subsequently called to the Bar of Ireland. A barrister’s degree will be to be followed by a postgraduate Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).}

The role of a barrister in Ireland is a type of lawyer who specialises in court advocacy and the giving of legal opinion.  Barristers do not handle clients’ funds, provide safe custody of original documents, or provide the normal non-contentious services {administrative}  which a client would expect from a firm of solicitors. Instead, barristers are retained for specific cases, primarily as advocates. Solicitors tend to call upon the services of barristers to present their cases in the higher courts.

The role of solicitors in Ireland is a qualified legal professional who provides expert legal advice and support to clients on both contentious and non-contentious business. A Solicitor’s clients can be individuals, groups, private companies or public sector organisations. Solicitors seek the expert assistance of barristers on issues that they feel require further opinion and in the preparation of litigation.

Barristers can be distinguished from a solicitor because they wear a wig and gown in court. They work in the superior courts and their main role is to act as advocates in legal hearings, which means they stand in court and plead the case on behalf of their clients in front of a judge.

Stephen Walsh & Co., are an established firm of Kildare solicitors who provide an in-depth range of legal services which include Civil Litigation, Personal Injury Law, Property Law, Wills & Probate, Criminal Law or Family Law and who closely works with a number of qualified barristers.

For more information on the services we provide please call the office on 045 881194 we’ll be happy to help you.

Or, see the website for more details www.stephenwalshsolicitors.ie

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