Whilst it is preferable to seek a barrister’s advice early on, barristers may be approached to take on matters at short notice.

Lawyers will often need to be in two places at once. Barristers can be used to attend to court and tribunal appearances on an ad hoc basis, to allow solicitors to carry on with their busy practices and maintain client satisfaction and deadlines. 


Barristers provide independent advice. They are usually a step removed from the client and are a fresh set of eyes to consider your case.

Barristers do not work for anyone, nor are they permitted to have other lawyers working for them. When you hire a barrister you are getting a completely independent expert working for your client’s best interests. 

A barrister must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the client’s best interests to the best of the barrister’s skill and diligence, and do so without regard to his or her own interest or to any consequences to the barrister or to any other person.

Rule 35. Duty to the client

Collectively, barristers are known as the Bar, or the Independent Bar. 

Cab rank rule

One of the features of the Bar that assists in maintaining independence, and providing access to justice to all, is the cab rank rule. Just as the first taxi in line must take the first passenger that approaches it, a barrister must take on any work from a solicitor who approaches them, providing the work is within their scope of expertise and they have the time to dedicate to the matter.

Senior Counsel

A limited number of senior barristers will be appointed silk, or in Tasmania, Senior Counsel. In other jurisdictions they may be referred to as Queen’s Counsel, although there is no difference between the two appointments. A Senior Counsel is appointed on the basis of a high degree of skill and learning, integrity and honesty, independence, diligence and experience.

The designation of Senior Counsel provides a goal for the worthy ambition of junior counsel, and should encourage them to improve and maintain their professional qualities. 

A barristers work

The work of barristers in Tasmania is guided by the Uniform Barristers Rules.