Do I need a barrister?

Do I need a barrister?

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Lawyer, solicitor, counsel, barrister – what’s the difference?

Well the short answer here is same same, different, you know! A solicitor and a barrister each have a law degree – same. Each are entitled to appear in court – same. A barrister is considered to be a court specialist – different.

The term “lawyer” is a general term that can encompass both solicitors and barristers. “Counsel” is a term used interchangeably with barrister. Just to make things more confusing, some lawyers in Australia refer to themselves as “attorneys” but this is an American term not often used in Australia.

Generally speaking, criminal defence barristers specialise in difficult criminal court matters. The lawyers at Kingston Fox specialise in advising clients and appearing in court in all criminal defence matters and will brief counsel in appropriate matters.

Do you have an experienced solicitor?

A lot of matters that come before the court need only an experienced criminal defence solicitor to guide you through the process and appear for you in court. The more experienced the solicitor is at being an advocate in court, the better chance you have of getting the outcome you want because the solicitor knows how to effectively persuade a magistrate or judge.

The lawyers at Kingston Fox Lawyers are experienced advocates. Both of us have come from a prosecution background, which means that we have spent a lot of time in court and know the best ways to defend your matter.

When you need to have a barrister

It really depends on the type of matter you have as to whether or not you will need a barrister. Because we are experienced advocates, it is likely that for most matters, you will not need to brief a barrister. If your matter is going to trial in the District Court or is on appeal to the Supreme Court, in most cases you will need a barrister. In other cases, it can sometimes help to have a barrister look at the brief of evidence and provide advice about your matter but not necessarily appear in court.

When you do need to have a barrister, it is important that he or she has an excellent working relationship with your solicitor to ensure the best possible outcome of you. We will make sure that the barrister briefed in your matter is the most appropriate for the job at hand.


We can’t shy away from the fact that barristers cost money and usually their fee will increase with their seniority. That’s not to say that there are other indicators of quality and expertise aside from their fee. Given our close working relationships with members of the Bar, we are able to select and consult with barristers who are able to give excellent advice within a budget. We will always advise you whether or not we think you need a barrister for your matter.

If you have a criminal law matter and need quality representation, contact Kingston Fox Lawyers. 

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