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The advantage a barrister’s knowledge adds to the role of a litigation solicitor

Since joining Aptum six months ago, one aspect that has stood out to me that differentiates our litigation practice from that of other law firms is the fact that Nigel (a director of Aptum) spent more than eleven years as a commercial barrister before starting Aptum. 

Having a barrister leading our team of litigation solicitors has two key advantages for our clients:   

  • Our ability to think more like barristers means that we are able to identify, early on, the issues that are critical to resolving a dispute. This leads to a more targeted approach where resources are employed more effectively to tasks that count and less time is wasted on unnecessary work, which leads to less duplication and more effective collaboration with counsel.

  • We also see the importance to our role as solicitors of having a solid understanding of court room advocacy. This knowledge doesn’t just come from Nigel’s experience as a barrister. Instead, we are making it a discipline and culture within our firm through regular advocacy training. Having an understanding of what is required when appearing in court equips us with the ability to better assist counsel when instructing in court, as well as the ability to appear ourselves where that is the most effective option.

After completing a stint as a judge’s associate before joining Aptum (as did David, a senior lawyer at Aptum), I found myself with a new found desire to do some appearance work, given that I no longer find the idea of appearing in court ‘scary’ after spending much of those 16 months in the court room.

One great aspect of working for a new law firm is that I can contribute to the development of the law firm’s culture and direction, so I saw it as the perfect opportunity to leverage Nigel’s advocacy skills and experience and implemented monthly in-house advocacy training for Aptum’s lawyers. Our training sessions involve mock hearings, with our lawyers making oral submissions based on materials used in actual interlocutory hearings that Aptum has appeared in previously. Nigel and Alex (a director of Aptum) act as judges and provide us with practical, procedural and technical feedback. I have no doubt that this training will assist me when instructing counsel or appearing in court.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss where your current dispute is at and how we might help deliver a more effective outcome.

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