Barristers are specialist advocates. They advise, assist and represent clients in and out of court often on instructions from solicitors. However since 2004 it has been possible for the public to instruct a barrister directly without the need to instruct a solicitor first. Barristers are specifically trained to be independent and objective in their evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular case and therefore opinions expressed by a barrister are likely to be similar to that of a judge.    


As counsel, barristers represent clients in courts and tribunals, having received rigorous training before qualifying.    


Most barristers work from chambers and are self-employed individuals. Unlike the setup of a solicitors' firm, barristers generally carry out all of their work personally.