Solicitors, Lawyers, Barristers and Notary Publics


Whats the difference?

'Lawyers', 'solicitors', 'barristers' and 'notary publics' are all common terms used for those working in the legal profession.  But what is the difference and what terms should we be using to find the best legal professional able to assist?

legal advocates

These roles may vary in different countries and legal systems, so it's important to consider jurisdiction-specific differences when seeking legal assistance or understanding these terms.

Notary Public

A notary public is a legally authorised person who serves as a witness to the signing of important documents and verifies the authenticity of signatures. Notary publics are responsible for confirming the identity of the parties involved and ensuring that the documents are executed correctly. They also apply their official seal or stamp to the documents to certify their authenticity. Notary publics play a crucial role in preventing fraud and ensuring the legality of various documents like contracts, affidavits, and deeds.


Lawyers are legal professionals who provide advice and representation to individuals, businesses, or organisations in legal matters. They are trained in the law and can specialise in various areas such as criminal law, family law, corporate law, and more. Lawyers often represent their clients in court, draft legal documents, and provide legal guidance.  The term 'Lawyer' is often used globally including in the United States and is often used in the United Kingdom.  The term tends to include legal professionals who are court advocates known as 'barristers' in the UK.


Solicitors are a type of lawyer in some countries, including the United Kingdom. They primarily provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, and handle legal matters outside of the courtroom. Clients often consult solicitors for assistance with property transactions, wills, contracts, and other non-litigation legal issues. In some legal systems, solicitors work closely with barristers, who specialise in courtroom advocacy.  This is generally called a two tier system and is prevalent in the United Kingdom.


A barrister is a type of lawyer in some legal systems, primarily in the United Kingdom and certain other Commonwealth countries. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and provide legal advice to clients, typically after being instructed by a solicitor. They often represent clients in court, draft legal documents, and offer expert opinions on legal matters. Barristers wear distinctive black robes and wigs in court, which is a traditional part of their attire in some jurisdictions.

Benefits of using a solicitor advocate over a barrister

Using a Solicitor-Advocate over a barrister can have several benefits:

bullet-point-arrow.png Cost-Efficiency: Solicitor advocates may be more cost-effective since they often charge lower fees than barristers, especially for routine legal matters or lower-value cases.

bullet-point-arrow.png Seamless Service: When you hire a solicitor advocate, you work with one legal professional from start to finish, ensuring continuity and a deeper understanding of your case.

bullet-point-arrow.png Familiarity with Your Case: Solicitor advocates may have a better understanding of your case and its details because they have been involved with it from the beginning.

bullet-point-arrow.png Legal Advice and Representation: Solicitor advocates can provide both legal advice and courtroom representation, eliminating the need to engage multiple professionals.

bullet-point-arrow.png Wider Scope of Services: Solicitor advocates can handle a broader range of legal matters beyond advocacy, such as drafting contracts, providing general legal advice, and handling administrative tasks.

bullet-point-arrow.png Cost Control: With a solicitor advocate, you have more control over costs as they handle various aspects of your case, potentially reducing the need for additional legal professionals.

At Legal Peace we are able to offer you the above as many of our solicitors (including the Principal of the firm who has been a Solicitor-Advocate since 2010) will do some of the Advocacy on your behalf.

However, the choice between a solicitor advocate and a barrister depends on the nature of your case, its complexity, and your specific needs. In some situations, especially complex or specialised matters, you may still benefit from hiring a barrister with extensive expertise in a particular area of law or courtroom advocacy. It's essential to consult with a legal professional to determine the best approach for your unique circumstances.

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