Briefing counsel for trial
Briefing counsel for trial

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Briefing counsel for trial
  • When to brief counsel
  • What to include in the brief

When to brief counsel

If you have any doubts about whether you will have the time to prepare the case adequately for trial, or whether you are competent to present it at trial or have the appropriate rights of audience, you should brief counsel to undertake the advocacy at trial.

The most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to instruct counsel are the length and complexity of the trial and, to a lesser extent, the financial value of the claim. A case arising from a road traffic accident with a single witness on either side can probably be prepared in a relatively short space of time. A multi-party dispute arising from the construction of an apartment block will take considerably longer.

It is usual to have discussed the matter with counsel or counsel’s clerk before sending the brief and, in a long running matter, it is likely that counsel will already have been involved in providing advice, drafting or settli