Barristers Clerking, Brisbane, Qld, AustraliaBarristers Brisbane, QldBarristers Clerk, Brisbane

How Clerking Works

Problems in Briefing Counsel – The Disconnect Between Solicitors and Barristers

It has been recognised that the difficulties facing solicitors in briefing junior counsel in Queensland include:

  1. not knowing the identity of junior counsel;
  2. not knowing when counsel should have an instructor present (as opposed to having counsel appear without an instructor);
  3. the formalities associated with briefing caused by continuing legislative reforms;
  4. fees; both as to their transparency and the actual cost and cost effectiveness of engaging counsel.

The English Clerking Model as a Solution

An experienced group of junior counsel offer a solution to these identified problems by applying a virtual English clerking system for briefing and by using a published scale of fees using the Queensland Magistrates Court's party and party scale as a model where practicable.

The benefits of the scheme to an instructing solicitor include:

  1. being able to locate and identify appropriately skilled counsel, on short notice, if necessary;
  2. who are prepared to adopt a robust approach and appear in the lower courts uninstructed where appropriate;
  3. where formalities of briefing are dealt with simply by reference to terms and a scale of fees published on the internet;
  4. using a moderate approach to charging which is transparent, reasonable and predictable – because it is on a published scale;
  5. and for interstate practitioners there is the opportunity to use the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 to do away with the cost of town agents and to gain assistance with the unique features contained in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999.