Litigation services provided by barristers
Of the range of Legal Services barristers provide, their specialist advocacy skills in a courtroom setting is a defining skillset and attribute of members of The Bar of Ireland.
- Barristers are independent of the Court and other interests, to ensure that clients are exclusively advocated for.
- Barristers undertake continuous professional development to ensure that their legal knowledge and expertise in practice and procedure is state-of-the-art.
- Barristers rely on national and international law so that clients benefit from a comprehensive legal strategy.
- Barristers operate the highest level of ethics and conduct, governed by a Code of Conduct and regulated by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority.
The principal areas of litigation include:
- Administrative Law / Judicial Review
- Commercial / Chancery
- Tort & Personal Injury Law
- Criminal Law
- Child & Family Law
- General Common Law
- Private International and Comparative Law
Barristers operate across all jurisdictions of the courts, and can include cross border provision of legal services, and rights of audience in any range of international fora.
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Junior and Senior Counsel
Within the Irish Bar, there are both Junior and Senior Counsel.
A barrister at the start of their career is known as a Junior Counsel. After some years in practice, usually a minimum of twelve, a Junior Counsel may apply to become a Senior Counsel, a status awarded by the Government that is normally reserved for barristers of ability and experience in a particular area of law and is commonly known as “taking silk”. There are approximately 325 Senior Counsel in Ireland. Senior Counsel are typically instructed in more serious or complex cases. Depending on the complexity of the case, two or more Senior and/or Junior Counsel may be retained.
There is no fixed scale of fees for barristers. Generally, fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the instructing solicitor based on the following factors:
- the complexity of the issue or subject matter;
- the length and venue of any trial or hearing;
- the amount or value of any claim or subject matter in issue provided; however, the level of fee should not be calculated solely on the basis of the value of the case or on a basis directly proportionate to the value of the case;
- the time within which the work is or was required to be undertaken; and,
- any other special feature of the case.
Often barristers and solicitors undertake cases on the understanding that the client will only be asked for fees if and when the case is successfully concluded. This approach, known as ‘no foal, no fee’, has played a significant part providing access to justice to certain individuals.