• Startups
  • October 05, 2021

What’s the Difference Between a Lawyer, Solicitor and a Barrister

By Lawbite Team

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As a business owner, it can be difficult to know where you should go for appropriate legal advice. 

It would be easy to assume that barristers, and lawyers and solicitors are essentially the same role. However, while they have some similarities, they can differ in what they can offer your business. 

This article will help you understand the key differences between a barrister, solicitor and lawyer, including what the main responsibilities and scope of their legal advice. It will also explain when a business owner should use each of their expertise respectively and where you can get the best legal assistance.

At LawBite, we have expert lawyers to help your business. Find out more about our LawBriefs to see what they specialise in and how they can help you and your business.

Lawyer vs. Solicitor vs. Barrister - Key Differences

The term Lawyer is a generic term used to describe anyone who is licensed as a legal practitioner, qualified to give legal advice in one or more aspects of law. Lawyers usually qualify in each country and rarely operate beyond their native shores.

In short, a Solicitor and Barrister are both a type of Lawyer.

As a qualified legal professional, a Solicitor can provide expert legal advice to clients, supplying guidance on the law and legal issues pertaining to their case.  A Solicitor deals with all the legal aspects of a case, including correspondence and any negotiations with opposing parties and their counsel. A Solicitor can also represent a client if it proceeds to (lower) court.

A Barrister is a specialist Lawyer, usually expert on a particular area of law, They are able to represent their clients in tribunals and (higher) court, through written or verbal legal advice. Generally, Barristers are instructed by Solicitors and tend to only get involved if the case proceeds to court, where they will advocate on behalf of their clients.

As a business owner, you will need to consider which type of lawyer is the best option for your firm . Depending on what type of business you have, you might benefit more from a Solicitor who specialises in Property Law or Employment Law for example. 

LawBite’s expert Lawyers, including Solicitors and Barristers specialise in business legal advice for SMEs and can help you with legal advice, preparing agreements, negotiating and much more!

What is a Lawyer?

A Lawyer, in the UK, is someone who is able to give legal advice to clients. The term ‘Lawyer’ is generic and is used to describe any Licensed Legal Practitioner. Lawyers can specialise in criminal or civil law and can further specialise in areas such as Employment Law, Property Law, Family Law and Business Law. The day-to-day duties of a Lawyer vary depending on what type of Lawyer they are, however, these duties can include:

  • Giving legal advice and guidance to clients
  • Writing contracts and agreements
  • Keeping updated with changes in UK law
  • Preparing and collating evidence for court
  • Representing clients in trials (if a Solicitor or Barrister)

You can find out more about our expert Lawyers, including what they do, what they specialise in and how they can help you. You can also read our blog on Why Every Business Owner Needs A Lawyer and 4 Ways Lawyers Can Add Value To Your Business.

What is a Barrister?

A Barrister, in the UK, is hired by a Solicitor to represent a client’s case in court. Generally, Barristers only become involved when representation in court is needed. 
The role of the Barrister is to provide advice to clients on the strength of their case, the law and to then give them a written ‘opinion’. A Barrister will then advocate on behalf of their client in court; this involves presenting their case, examining witnesses, and convincing the court to support the case in favour of their client.
To become a Barrister, one must be ‘called to the Bar’ to complete a 1-year pupillage in Chambers. Once they have passed, they are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

What is a Solicitor?

A Solicitor, in the UK, is a legal professional who gives advice to clients, drafts legal documents such as contracts and agreements, and negotiates on behalf of their client. Solicitors work directly with clients and will handle all the communications and paperwork involved in their client’s case; they also ensure that the legal advice given to a client is accurate.

Solicitors will usually appoint a Barrister to represent a client in court, however Solicitors are able to advocate for a client in court if necessary. A Solicitor, in England and Wales is represented and regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Solicitors can specialise in areas of law such as Employment law, Property Law and Financial Law. LawBite has a team of expert Solicitors, all of whom specialise in advising on legal matters for SMEs.


When Should You Use a Lawyer, Barrister or Solicitor?

As a business owner, it is important to understand when you should use legal advice from lawyers, barristers and solicitors.

Your SME should use legal advice from a Lawyer if:
  • You need expert business legal advice
  • You need a legal document written, such as a contract or agreement
  • You want a legal document checked to ensure it complies with UK law
  • You need advice on negotiations
  • You need to be represented in court
  • Your Solicitor tells you that you need to be appointed a barrister

Your SME should use legal advice from a Solicitor if:
  • You need expert business legal advice
  • You need a legal document written, such as a contract or agreement
  • You want a legal document checked to ensure it complies with UK law
  • You need advice on negotiations
  • You may need to consider court action

Your SME should use legal advice from a Barrister if:
  • You need expert business legal advice
  • You need to be represented in court
  • Your Solicitor tells you that you need to be appointed a barrister

If you are unsure whether you need a Lawyer, Solicitor or Barrister, you can contact LawBite and we can help you and your SME with your business legal needs.


You Can Get Legal Assistance from LawBite

LawBite can help you and your SME with understanding the differences between a Barrister, a Lawyer and a Solicitor and when you might need each one. Our services pages have information about the legal advice LawBite offers including the legal advice process. You can also read our blogs on specific topics such as Brexit, GDPR, Commercial Leasing Agreements and more.

Our Lawyers have different areas of expertise ranging from intellectual property to commercial property and disputes to debt recovery. All the Lawyers at LawBite are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Book a 15-minute consultation with one of our expert lawyers to discuss how LawBite can help you. Get in touch with us today by calling us on 020 38088314 or make an enquiry.


Additional useful information


In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.



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