Depending on the court – and the type of hearing – your solicitor might be able to act as your representative. However, barristers are experienced advocates, and – particularly in complex or high-value claims – your solicitor might well advise you to use one. There are two ways in which you might want to use a barrister:
to provide specialist legal advice (an ‘opinion’) at an early stage – this can be particularly useful in complex, high-value cases, where knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your case might enable you to negotiate an early settlement; and
to represent you in court.
If a barrister’s opinion would be useful, your solicitor will know how to find the relevant expert, and will ‘brief’ (instruct) him or her. You will not be able to instruct a barrister yourself; a solicitor will do this on your behalf.