Andrew Williams criminal lawyers strive to attain a good relationship with their clients in order to build communication, respect and a solid understanding of the client’s case. Andrew Williams runs an amalgamated practice and acts as both a Barrister and a Solicitor in Perth. However the question is frequently asked by the client “what is the difference between a Barrister and a Solicitor”?


What is the Role of a Criminal Law Solicitor?

A lawyer is a general term that covers both solicitor and barrister. A solicitor is usually the first person that client engages to assist with their legal issue. Generally rather than act as counsel in court a solicitor will attend to the work that is necessary in the lead up to and preparation of the case and the day to day running of the client’s file. This may include drafting a proof of evidence and other defence witnesses that the client intends to call to give evidence in court, negotiating with the State DPP, telephone and email attendances, and instructing the barrister accordingly.

Solicitors then often have more direct contact with the client and refer the court representation to a barrister or, in some cases, for specialist advice. A solicitor can and often does appear as counsel in court however this usually occurs when there are initial mention and disclosure appearances or a trial allocation appearance when the court is setting a trial date. Generally the Barrister, on the other hand, may appear as counsel only at the trial.


What is the Role of a Criminal Law Barrister?

As a lawyer, a Barrister spends most of their time appearing as specialist counsel in court for complicated legal arguments or trials. A limited number of Senior Barristers are made Queen’s Counsel (QC) as an honour of ability and experience. A Barrister in Perth cannot be engaged directly by a client and the rules in Perth requires a Barrister to be retained by a Solicitor for specialist advice or court representation.

There could be a number of reasons why a client’s lawyer may suggest that a QC Barrister in Perth is retained to act as counsel at trial. If the trial is anticipated to take considerable and lengthy time the Solicitor in Perth may not have the recourses to act as counsel. The Solicitor in Perth also may believe that a particular Barrister in Perth is best suited for the particular type of charge, a specific issue in the trial or the unusual circumstances surrounding the allegations that have been made.

There are differences between a Solicitor and a Barrister in Perth and on some occasions it is appropriate to have both on board. However in Perth and Western Australia the legislation provides for an amalgamated practice of Barrister and Solicitor. This means that a firm of lawyers in Perth like Andrew Williams Criminal Lawyers are able to act as both Barristers and Solicitors.