What You Need to Know

When do you need a barrister and what can he do for you?

If you need legal representation in any case, you can be represented by a barrister in nearly any court. A barrister is an expert in advocacy and specialized in litigation. You can also instruct a barrister to give you oral or written advice on any legal matter, or to draft documents for you which are related to litigation. 

What are the duties of a barrister?

Without misleading or deceiving the court, a barrister has a duty to uphold the interest of his client. A barrister is an expert in law and should provide you with independent and objective legal advice. A barrister can never make up a false case for his client. 

How to find a barrister?

You must go to a solicitor first who would advise you to instruct the most appropriate barrister for your case. You can also ask your solicitor to instruct a particular barrister in your mind. Generally a barrister must accept your case unless it falls within certain exceptions. 

Is there any duplication of work between solicitors and barristers?

Very little, if any. When a barrister is instructed to take up a case, then the role of a solicitor is mainly for taking instructions from clients whereas the barrister is responsible for advocacy in court, and giving independent, objective and expert legal advice to clients. 

How much does a barrister charge?

Barristers' fees depend on the complexity of the matter, the time spent, his seniority and experience. The fees for a barrister's appearance in court for the 1st day is called a "Brief" which normally includes preparation work for the trial, and the fees for each subsequent court appearance day is called a "Refresher". You are entitled to know the fees charged by a barrister and to have access to the related documents. No fees can be charged by anyone for introducing a barrister to you. 

What are your rights against a barrister?

A barrister is governed by a detailed professional Code of Conduct. If you have any legitimate complaint against a barrister, you can write to the Bar Council of the Hong Kong Bar Association. All complaints will be investigated impartially. Any breach of the Bar Code by any barrister may lead to disciplinary actions.