A ‘barrister’ is an independent specialist advocate and advisor in law. Their highly competitive training, together with their specialist knowledge and experience, can make a substantial difference to the outcome of a case.
A barrister is best known for their advocacy before the Courts but it is true to say that their strength lies in Dispute Resolution, both judicial (before Courts or tribunals) and non-judicial (through negotiation, mediation or arbitration).
A barrister has the training and experience to anticipate the range of likely outcomes and to work with the solicitor and their client to choose the most appropriate path, so it is helpful to involve a barrister at the outset.
A barrister’s advice at this time can help to clarify the management of the entire dispute resolution process and empower clients to make informed decisions. Early advice can often save clients the cost and worry of an unnecessary trial.
Because of a barrister’s intimate knowledge of the Courts, their specialisation in advocacy and litigation and their ability to quickly identify the crucial points of a case, barristers are also valued for their advice and opinion work and they are often called upon to assist in this regard as soon as a dispute is indicated.
If the case does proceed to trial, a barrister can provide effective representation and advocacy, with:
- Specialised knowledge of their area of law
- Detailed knowledge of the rules of evidence and their application
- Full understanding of litigation tactics
- The skills to identify the most appropriate case preparation
- The ability to persuade the client’s adversary or the Court of the merits of the case.
Alternative Dispute (ADR) is the general term for the various ways in which disputes can be resolved without (or as an alternative to) litigation.
Litigation is a costly solution and the varying forms of ADR offer a way to either resolve the dispute through legally binding determination by a convener (such as in Commercial or Family Law Arbitration, or in Expert Determination) or to try mediation in an attempt to come to a mutual agreement to resolve the dispute without determination by a third party.
A growing number of barristers specialise in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
Increasingly, Australian barristers have expertise in domestic and international commercial arbitrations with many approved as arbitrators with national and international bodies. Other forms of ADR include mediation, expert determination and hybrid dispute resolution processes.
- Commercial Arbitration
- Expert Determination
- Family Law Dispute Resolution