Phone - Heather Harbon
(02) 9235 3100
(02) 9223 3929
Level 6, 225 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000
DX 854 Sydney
Monday to Friday
8.30am to 5.30pm
How much will it cost to retain a barrister?
Barristers at Sixth Floor Windeyer Chambers are completely independent of one another and therefore may charge different rates. Although our barristers work from the same 'Chambers' they practice as individuals. Generally, the more experienced a barrister the higher their fees may be.
There are no shared fees or profits between Barristers at Sixth Floor Windeyer Chambers.
Can I retain a barrister without having an instructing solicitor?
In some instances, barristers may agree to accept a brief in a matter without an instructing solicitor.
For any questions concerning this please contact our Clerk, Heather Harbon.
What do the letters QC or SC after a barristers name mean?
Before 1993 barristers were known as a QC or Queen's Counsel. In New South Wales, QCs were appointed by the governor of the state, upon advice from the Attorney-General, usually after consultation with the president of the New South Wales Bar Association.
In 1992, the New South Wales Government announced that no further appointments would be made. At this time, the Bar Association established its own equivalent rank of Senior Counsel (SC) who are appointed after an exhaustive process of consultation with members of the profession and the judiciary.
The designation of a practitioner as a Senior Counsel is intended to recognise those whose standing and achievements justify an expectation on the part of the public and the judiciary that they will provide outstanding services, as counsel, to the administration of justice.
Senior Counsel appear as advocates at trial or on appeal and advise in particularly complex or difficult cases. They are often instructed in addition to other counsel because of the importance or the complexity of the case. The second lawyer will usually be another barrister or may be a solicitor of appropriate skill and experience.
What is a barrister?
In New South Wales, there are two types of legal practitioners: solicitors and barristers. Barristers are legal practitioners whose principal work involves presenting cases in courts and other formal hearings such as tribunals. They also undertake a variety of other work, providing specialist legal advice and acting as mediators, arbitrators, referees or conciliators.
The independence of barristers is vital to our system of justice. It ensures legal representation for everyone, without fear or favour. Barristers cannot form any business association with partners which might compromise, or even appear to compromise, that independence. Although most barristers group themselves together for convenience in offices known as a 'chambers', and while they may gain from the general expertise of their colleagues in these chambers, they practice as individuals. Nor are they tied to any particular client. A barrister can appear for the government one day and against it the next.
What is the role of a barrister?
A barrister specialises in courtroom advocacy, giving expert legal opinions and drafting legal pleadings.
Essentially, barristers are the lawyers who represent litigants as their advocate before the courts of that jurisdiction.
A barrister will speak in court and present the case before a judge or jury. In contrast, solicitors generally engage in preparatory work and advice, such as drafting and reviewing legal documents, dealing with and receiving instructions from the client, preparing evidence, and managing the day-to-day administration of a matter.
A barrister will usually have rights of audience in the higher courts, whereas other legal professionals will often have more limited access, or will need to take additional qualifications to do so.
The profession of a barrister and their role as a professional legal advocate specifically corresponds to appearing in trials or pleading cases before the courts.
Barristers usually have a more specialised knowledge of case law and precedent. When a solicitor in general practice is confronted with an unusual point of law, they sometimes seek the "opinion of counsel" on the issue.