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A barrister is a type of lawyer in the United Kingdom and certain other common law countries.  Lawyers who practice in the United Kingdom are divided into two types: “solicitors,” who provide general legal advice on various areas of law and “barristers,” who provide specialized court representations in certain areas of law.  Barristers are involved in courtroom advocacy and litigation.  They are similar to “trial lawyers” or “litigators” in America, although “trial lawyers” or “litigators” in America may, unlike barristers, perform tasks beyond courtroom advocacy.

Ballentine’s Law Dictionary defines “barrister” as “[a] person learned in the law and who is permitted to plead at the bar of the courts in England.”

In In re Pro-Fit Holdings Ltd., the United States Bankruptcy Court, C.D. California mentions barristers, “[the p]ractice of law in the United Kingdom is not unified: most of what corresponds to United States law practice is carried out by “solicitors,” who often practice in law firms of substantial size, while most court appearances are made by “barristers,” who are separately licensed and are hired by solicitors to conduct court proceedings.”

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]