1. What is a barrister?
The NSW Bar Association answers this question as follows:
“In New South Wales, there are two types of legal practitioners: solicitors and barristers. Barristers are legal practitioners whose principal work involves presenting cases in courts and other formal hearings such as tribunals. They also undertake a variety of other work, providing specialist legal advice and acting as mediators, arbitrators, referees or conciliators.
The independence of barristers is vital to our system of justice. It ensures legal representation for everyone, without fear or favour. Barristers cannot form any business association with partners which might compromise, or even appear to compromise, that independence. Although most barristers group themselves together for convenience in offices known as 'chambers', and while they may gain from the general expertise of their colleagues in these chambers, they practice as individuals. No shared financial interest in fees or profits connects them. Every barrister is solely responsible for his or her own work. Fees are not shared.
Nor are they tied to any particular client. A barrister can appear for the government one day and against it the next.”
2. How much will it cost to retain a barrister?
Barristers at Sir Owen Dixon Chambers are completely independent of one another and therefore may charge different rates. Generally speaking, the more experienced a barrister the higher their fees may be.
For any enquiries concerning fees please contact our Clerk, Ian Irvine,who can provide further information.
3. Can I retain a barrister without having an instructing a solicitor?
In some instances, barristers may agree to accept a brief in a matter without having an instructing solicitor. For any questions concerning this please contact our Clerk, Ian Irvine.
4. Is there any legal work that barristers are not permitted to do?
Pursuant to the following extract of the NSW Barristers’ Rules a barrister must confine his professional work as follows:
“74. A barrister must confine the barrister’s professional work to:
(a) appearing as an advocate;
(b) preparing to appear as an advocate;
(c) negotiating for the client with the opponent to compromise the case;
(d) representing the client in a mediation;
(e) giving legal advice;
(f) advising on documents to be used in the client’s affairs;
(g) acting as a referee, arbitrator or mediator; and
(h) carrying out work properly incidental to the kinds of work referred to in
75. A barrister must not, in the barrister’s professional work:
(a) commence proceedings or file process in any court on behalf of the client
in the barrister’s name;
(b) serve any process of any court;
(c) make any demand, by letter or otherwise, on behalf of the client in the
barrister’s name, except for the purposes of work under Rule 74(c) and
(d) conduct correspondence on behalf of the client in the barrister’s name or
deal on behalf of the client with any other person, unless:
(i) the correspondence is to seek information from a potential
(ii) the dealing is a conference with a potential witness; or
(iii) it is for the purposes of work under Rule 74.”
5. How do I go about retaining a barrister?
Please contact our Clerk, Ian Irvine who can assist you with obtaining the right barrister for your matter.