The Notion of “Barrister” In English Law

The barrister, a term that can be translated into French by “lawyer”. It is called individually “counsel” (defensive lawyer in court) and, as in France, a member of the Bar (barreau in French). The profession of barrister is very traditionalist, which is reflected in the wearing of the gown and wig (wig and dress).

I – Training

The candidate for the practice of the profession (prospective incoming) must hold a university degree. If this is not a law degree, the candidate must pass the common professional entrance examination (Common Professional Examination) examination that “solicitors” must also pass.

After three years of university studies, the student who is destined to the bar, has a candidate in one of the four Inns of Court (they correspond roughly in France to the Institute of Judicial Studies). The Inns are traditionally the only authority to prepare the accession to the bar and also supervise the profession. Each Inn of Court is headed by the oldest member (benchers).

Today vocational training lasts one year and is provided by the “Council of Legal Education” and the Inns of Court School of Law. It shall lead to a review (Bar Finals) that corresponds to the French “Capa”.

After this examination the student must do an internship (vocational training period) with an experienced barrister. Funny detail: during these two years the future barrister has to attend a specific number of meals in the lobby of the Inn of Court (to keep terms). After performing all these duties, he is admitted to the bar (be called to the Bar)

II – Functions

Barristers practice only in the liberal statute, unlike Germany and France where the wage is allowed. Barristers practice in offices (chambers). The firm is headed by a head of chamber and a clerk (clerc in French) is responsible for its management.

Barristers do not have the right to advertise or contact the customer. They are never contacted directly by the client but by the solicitor who sends them the dispute file written by him (brief). Therefore, there is no contract between the barrister and the client. The Barrister chooses the latter depending on the nature of the dispute and the price the customer is likely to pay. If the barrister is not free, the solicitor should contact another barrister.

Once the case is accepted, the barrister draws conclusions and takes care of the argument. If their fees are not paid, barristers are unable to pursue the customer to claim their due (to sue). However, barristers can not be sued for negligence in how to advocate. However it remains possible during the pre-trial proceedings (pre-trial period).

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