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:

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.