Barrister Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Barrister, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Barrister?

(n) Barrister is the person who is graduated in law and passed the required training , qualification or examination for appearing before the court as attorney or as lawyer. In UK only a Barrister can plead at the bar where as other law graduates can perform all legal works other than appearing in a court.

History and Meaning of Barrister

Barristers have been a part of the English legal system since the 14th century. Originally, they were called "apprentices," and their main role was to assist solicitors in preparing and arguing cases. Over time, the role of barristers evolved, and they began to take on more responsibilities in the court system. Today, a barrister is a legal professional who has completed a law degree and specialized training in advocacy and courtroom procedure.

Barristers are typically self-employed and work in chambers, which are groups of barristers who share support staff and office space. They are called to the bar by an inn of court, such as the Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, or Gray's Inn, which also provide legal education and training. Barristers are known for their advocacy skills, and they are often called upon to represent clients in court, offer legal advice, and draft legal documents.

Examples of Barrister

  1. In a criminal case, the defendant would hire a barrister to represent them in court and argue their case before a judge.
  2. A barrister might be consulted to provide legal advice to a client seeking to challenge a will or estate planning arrangement.
  3. In a divorce case, a barrister might represent a client in negotiations or court proceedings related to spousal support or the division of assets.
  4. A barrister might be retained by a corporation to provide legal advice on regulatory compliance or litigate a commercial dispute.
  5. In a high-profile public inquiry, such as the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking in the UK, barristers would be hired to represent witnesses and parties involved in the investigation.

Legal Terms Similar to Barrister

  1. Solicitor: A legal professional who provides legal advice and drafts legal documents, but is not qualified to appear in court.
  2. Advocate: A legal professional who represents clients in court, typically used in Scotland and other Common Law jurisdictions.
  3. Lawyer: A generic term for a legal professional who provides legal advice and services to clients, including both barristers and solicitors.