What is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?

The difference between a barrister and a solicitor is mainly where the work is carried out.

A barrister’s main role is to defend people in the court whereas a solicitor will perform the legal work outside of court.

The Solicitor

Once it is said that someone is seeing their lawyer, it will usually be a solicitor they contact.
A solicitor will have specialist knowledge in these areas of law: family, crimes, finance, property and employment.
It is possible for solicitors to work for a variety of large organisations, no matter is they are commercial or not, such as law firms, private businesses, banks, the government and corporations.

Solicitors will likely advise their clients, undertake negotiations and will draft any legal documents. The role of a solicitor is mainly a desk job, however it does involve a lot of travelling to see the clients and represent them in court.

The Barrister

The way to distinguish a barrister from a solicitor would be to look out for them in court; they’ll be wearing a wig and a gown.
Barristers work at a higher level of the court than the solicitor, they will act as advocated in hearings, pleading the case for their clients before the judge.

Barristers won’t come into as much contact with the public than a solicitor would, instead, they would liaise with the solicitor to review the evidence and given a certain amount of time to do so in preparation for what is going to be said in court.


Considering the contrast between the role of each, their training would begin the same: either complete and undergraduate course in law or opt for another degree and follow is with the one-year Common Professional Exam or Post-Graduate Diploma in Law.

After that, a solicitor will do a one-year Legal Practice Course and proceed to do a two-year training contract.
A barrister, on the other hand, will take a one-year Bar Professional Training Course, which will see then shadowing senior barristers and undertaking some of their own court work.

For more information about barristers and solicitors, along with the law services we can offer, please visit our website.