Finding the right barrister to brief for a matter can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t brief counsel regularly, or, your location makes it difficult to meet and network with barristers. It may be the case that the barristers you usually brief aren’t available.
There are a few ways around to find counsel, in no particular order.
- Call chambers and talk to the clerk
A good approach is to research Chambers’ that specialise in the specific area of law you require, especially if you are starting from scratch or the particular case is outside the expertise of your referral network. The Chambers’ Clerks’ are a great source of information and are always on hand to answer any queries. A quick call will yield a barrister’s appropriateness for your matter and importantly, their availability.
- Ask around for a referral
A common way to find counsel is to ask other solicitors who practice in the speciality area you need to brief. That is, who are the barristers they use or those who have a good reputation. A few phone calls around will reveal a short list of appropriate barristers. You can then call these barristers directly, or call their clerk. If in fact, they are not available for the brief, they, in turn, can often refer you to another counsel.
- Use an online service
As an online briefing service, BarristerSELECT (currently only available in NSW), is a straightforward and convenient way to find not only the right barrister but also all available barristers and It’s free. You fill out a quick online form to search over 600 barristers by area of expertise, seniority, price range, dates for your matter, and whether you require equitable briefing. An email list is sent to you detailing available barristers that you can both book for your matter and brief online.
Whichever way you choose to find a barrister, additional research such as reviewing decided cases can assist with your decision making, as well as checking any publications particular counsel may have written.