Solicitor advocate

Solicitor Advocate

Solicitor advocate

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Solicitor advocate is the title used by a solicitor who is qualified to represent clients as an advocate in the higher courts in England and Wales or in Scotland.


Historically, solicitors took conduct of litigation, and undertook advocacy in the lower courts (tribunals, Coroner's Courts, Magistrates' Courts, County Courts, Sheriff Courts), but were not able to represent their clients in court in the higher courts (Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, Court of Session, Privy Council, and House of Lords). Instead, solicitors were required to instruct barristers (in England and Wales) or advocates (in Scotland) to represent their clients in court.

Section 27 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, in England and Wales, and section 24 of the Law Reform Scotland Act 1990, in Scotland, created a route for solicitors to qualify for a grant of rights of audience in the higher courts where they have sufficient training and experience. The complex rules and regulations were relaxed in England and Wales by the Higher Courts Qualification Regulations 2000 so as to establish four main routes to qualify for higher rights of audience: development (training, assessment, and a portfolio of cases); accreditation (experience and an advocacy assessment); exemption (sufficient experience); and former barrister (called to the bar before 31 July 2000). Higher rights of audience may be granted for the higher criminal courts, or the higher civil courts, or both. In England and...
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