Briefing a Barrister for Corporate Counsel


At the Victorian Bar, we recognise that the need to support and supplement in-house legal teams has never been greater.

Engaging with barristers - click here to download the brochure.

Seeking strategic advice from a barrister early in a matter – regardless of whether it might ultimately become litigious – can have extraordinary benefits. 

Briefing early ensures the right strategy is set and decisions taken, well before you reach a courtroom door – and can help to ensure that you never reach it at all. 

GENUINELY INDEPENDENT

Barristers are genuinely independent and can provide an expert, truly objective perspective on legal strategy and the likely trajectory of a matter, greatly improving the likelihood of early resolution.

Barristers are cost-effective subject matter experts. This saves your business money and management resources.

Barristers are responsive, highly skilled and agile. 

YOUR TRUSTED ADVISORS

Instructing a barrister at the outset will add exceptional value to any matter whether it is headed for court or not – for example, by providing strategic advice at the early stages of an issue, presenting to the Board or your internal client on an area of potential risk, or providing advice on a point of law. 

Of course, barristers are experts in litigation and are always available to advise on litigation strategy, draft witness statements or pleadings and provide advocacy services in all Australian courts and tribunals.  Briefing early, and well, is key to getting the best result in court – and, ideally avoiding court altogether. 

The commercial Bar is home to numerous barristers with diverse backgrounds, significant commercial experience and acute judgement.  They will quickly get to know your business and provide strategic and, where needed, urgent advice; the foundation of a close, trusted advisor relationship.

COST EFFECTIVE

Barristers provide cost-effective specialist advice.  In many cases you can brief an experienced barrister with deep subject matter expertise for a fraction of the cost of a firm of solicitors.

Barristers have minimal overheads, which means their fee structures compare very favourably to other legal resources.  And remember, even a junior barrister will have deep experience and expertise, often having signed the Bar Roll after many years in private practice.

Engaging with the Bar – either alone or in conjunction with other external resources – helps you get the most out of your legal spend.

SECONDMENTS

Secondments can be a useful way to build a strong, long lasting relationship with a barrister, and a cost-efficient solution to a short-term employment need.  Many barristers are keen to undertake client secondments, which can range from general advisory work and ‘gap-filling’ on your in-house legal team, to large discovery or due diligence projects.

WHO CAN INSTRUCT A BARRISTER?

Barristers can be briefed instead of, or in conjunction with, other legal service providers by lawyers from firms, corporations, government agencies and businesses from Australia and internationally.

As in-house counsel or a government solicitor, you can brief a barrister directly without going through a law firm.  Direct briefing in the right matters provides the opportunity to increase the speed and efficiency with which in-house matters are resolved.

HOW DO I BRIEF A BARRISTER DIRECTLY?

The Victorian Bar is working hard to promote our barrister services and to greatly simplify the process of finding the right barrister for your matter.  We are committed to making the process of engaging a barrister a smooth and seamless transaction so that the right barrister for your matter is easy to find and quick to engage.

Click “Advanced Search” and complete the applicable search categories to bring up a list of suitable barristers.

Then just pick up the phone and call.  If that barrister is unavailable or not quite the right fit, they will be more than happy to recommend a colleague.

Alternatively, contact one of the barrister’s clerks who will discuss your needs and recommend a suitable barrister. A full list of clerks can be found on our website under “Barristers Clerks”.