Questions that an instructor or client might ask to identify the appropriate counsel for their case include the following:
- Does the case require a barrister particularly skilled in:
- cross examination?
- written or oral submissions?
- case management?
- making submissions on novel points of law?
- managing the dynamics of mediation?
- How important is it that the barrister have had experience with:
- the same factual area (eg, a business similar to the client’s business or an expert with the same expertise as an expert in this case)?
- the same area of law that is likely to apply in this case?
- the same tribunal or court in which the client’s case is likely to be heard?
- particular forms of alternative dispute resolution (eg, mediation or arbitration)?
The following links may assist clients and solicitors to identify a barrister with the requisite skills and experience, or to find out more information about particular barristers:
- The Member Search directory of the Commercial Bar Association of Victoria;
- The Barrister Directory for the Victorian Bar;
- The Member Search directory of the Tax Bar Association of Victoria;
- The directories of the various barristers’ clerks, which are listed here.
Before briefing a barrister, a solicitor often telephones the barrister to discuss some or all of the following:
- whether the barrister has experience with the factual or legal matters that the brief involves or a related matter;
- whether the barrister has a conflict of interest in the proceeding;
- the barrister’s daily fee;
- the barrister’s availability during the time period that the matter is likely to require the barrister’s attention and likely to be heard in court;
- whether the barrister believes that he or she is too junior or senior to accept the brief, or whether a junior or senior counsel should also be briefed alongside him or her;
- whether the barrister could recommend another barrister.