I am often asked by my clients whether they will need to meet their barrister before they go to Court to discuss their case with them.
Very often it is not necessary to do so as the solicitor will prepare a comprehensive Brief for the barrister which will include a written summary of the case, the positions of both sides, an outline of what the client wishes to achieve and any other relevant information. Attached to this Brief will be copies of the documentation which the barrister needs to see, including copies of orders, applications, statements and reports. Often the solicitor will speak to the barrister a day or so before the hearing to deal with any questions.
If there is no meeting prior to the day of the hearing then it is usual for the client and the barrister to meet at Court between 30 minutes and an hour before the hearing to discuss the case.
However, it is sometimes necessary for there to be a meeting with the barrister a week or two before the hearing in order that the case may be discussed face to face and advice may be given by the barrister as to the best way forward. This is usually referred to as a Conference with Counsel and occurs either in the barrister’s Chambers or at the solicitors offices.