Legal Professionals


A barrister is anyone who has been Called to the Bar in England and Wales. For a barrister to offer a full range of legal services (including what are known as “reserved legal activities”) a barrister must also be authorised to practise. These barristers are recorded on the Barristers’ Register which records their practising status and address, the reserved legal activities they are authorised to undertake and whether they have been the subject of any disciplinary findings.

Barristers who are not authorised to practise are allowed to provide a more limited range of legal services but they must not refer to themselves as barristers in doing so.

Called to the Bar is the symbolic barrier separating the public from those admitted to the well of the Court.

Role of a Barrister

A barrister is a legal professional who specializes in court advocacy and provides independent legal advice to clients. Here are key points about their role:

  • Court Advocacy: Barristers represent clients in court proceedings, both in defense and prosecution. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal submissions.
  • Independent Advice: Clients can directly instruct barristers without involving a solicitor. Barristers offer expert advice on case merits, potential outcomes, and legal strategies.
  • Self-Employed: Most barristers are self-employed and work from chambers. However, some may work in government agencies or private organizations.

Practice Areas

Barristers work across various legal practice areas. Some common ones include:

  • Criminal Law: Representing clients in criminal trials, appeals, and sentencing hearings.
  • Family Law: Handling divorce, child custody, and financial disputes.
  • Commercial Law: Advising on business contracts, disputes, and corporate matters.
  • Employment Law: Dealing with workplace disputes, discrimination claims, and employment contracts.
  • Personal Injury: Representing clients in accident claims and compensation cases.
  • Property Law: Assisting with property transactions, disputes, and landlord-tenant matters.


To become a barrister in England and Wales, follow these steps:

  1. Qualifying Law Degree: Obtain an LLB Law degree or a non-law degree followed by a conversion course (such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Law or Master of Arts in Law).
  2. Bar Practice Course (BPC): Complete the BPC, a postgraduate course that prepares graduates for barrister practice. Passing the BPC is a prerequisite for the final stage of training called pupillage.

Essential Skills

Barristers need a diverse skill set:

  • Communication: Ability to interact with various people effectively.
  • Analytical Thinking: Logical approach to problem-solving.
  • Advocacy: Representing clients’ interests persuasively in court.
  • Attention to Detail: Crucial for legal research and case preparation.
  • Time Management: Juggling multiple cases efficiently.
  • Commercial Awareness: Understanding business and industry contexts.

In summary, barristers are legal advocates who specialize in court representation and provide vital legal advice. Whether in criminal trials, family disputes, or commercial matters, their expertise ensures justice and fairness in the legal system.

Check out our articles on Direct Access Barristers, Four Inns of Court, Bar Standards Board, Bar Standards Board Justice ?, Solicitors, Rule of Law and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

Read the reviews of Junior Sussex Barrister Gavin Howe 

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

and Legal 500 Junior Barrister Eleanor Battie

She is a one-woman legal A Team”

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