Being involved in legal proceedings either as the plaintiff (claimant) or defendant can be daunting. Most people (if they are lucky) have little knowledge about what is involved in legal proceedings and it can be confusing if you’ve never been involved in them before. So when do you need the services of a barrister? This article will explain the important role of a barrister and when you might need to consult one.

People who wish to commence (or respond to) a legal action in court will first engage a lawyer for initial advice. During the course of the proceedings, your lawyer may recommend that you engage a barrister (sometimes referred to as ‘counsel’). A barrister is highly trained in advocacy court work and provides their advice on complex legal matters.   It can be viewed as being very similar to obtaining expert medical advice, where individuals are referred to a medical specialist via their GP.

What does a Barrister do?

Barristers can attend in any Court or Tribunal – though they are generally used for matters of a more complex nature and/or where significant monies are being sought.

Once your case is underway, the barrister and your lawyer will work in consultation. Your lawyer is responsible for communicating all details with you, collecting your evidence, corresponding with the lawyers acting for other parties and preparing, serving and filing all necessary and relevant documents in the court or tribunal.

As your matter progresses, you may be involved in conferences with your lawyer and barrister to finalise documents, draft your evidence and to prepare for the hearing of your matter. Your barrister will then appear in Court as your legal representative at the hearing of your matter.


Although Barristers are an additional cost, they do provide an objective and independent view of your case, and can advise you and your lawyer on the best legal strategy. They also have specialist skills in arguing matters in Court and can be an extremely valuable asset.

If you are in the middle of a lengthy dispute, whether it’s with a neighbour, an ex business partner, or previous spouse, it might be time to consult a barrister. Entering into legal proceedings can be very expensive, so it’s important that these matters be resolved outside of court wherever possible.

If you would like to consult one of LegalVision’s litigation lawyers, get in touch with our offices on 1300 544 755.

Emma George
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