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A type of practicing lawyer in England who handles primarily office work.

The title of the chief law officer of a government body or department, such as a city, town, or Municipal Corporation.

England has two types of practicing lawyers: solicitors and barristers. Unlike the United States, where a lawyer is allowed to handle office and trial work, England has developed a division of labor for lawyers. Solicitors generally handle office work, whereas barristers plead cases in court. However, there is some overlap. Solicitors may appear as legal counsel in the lower courts, and barristers often prepare trial briefs and other written documents. Barristers depend on solicitors to provide them with trial work because they are not allowed to accept work on their own.

The distinction between solicitors and barristers was originally based on their roles in the English court system. Solicitors were lawyers who were admitted to practice in Equity courts, whereas barristers were lawyers who practiced in common-law courts. The modern English judicial system has abolished this distinction. Barristers may appear in legal and equitable court proceedings, and solicitors handle out-of-court lawyering.

The role of the solicitor is similar to that of a lawyer in the United States who does not appear in court. The solicitor meets prospective clients, hears the client's problems, gives legal advice, drafts letters and documents, negotiates on the client's behalf, and prepares the client's case for trial. When a court appearance appears inevitable, the solicitor retains a barrister on the client's behalf. The solicitor instructs the barrister on how the client wishes to proceed in court.

There are more solicitors than barristers because most legal work is done outside the courtroom. Solicitors are required to take a law school course, but they must serve an apprenticeship with a practicing solicitor for five years (three years for a college graduate) before becoming fully accredited.

The regulation and administration of solicitors is managed by the Law Society, a voluntary group incorporated by Parliament. The Law Society is similar to U.S. bar associations, setting standards of professional conduct, disciplining solicitors for ethical violations, and maintaining a client compensation fund to repay losses that result from dishonesty by solicitors.

In the United States, the term solicitor generally has not been applied to attorneys. Some towns and cities in the Northeast have called their chief law enforcement officer a solicitor, rather than a chief of police.

Also, the officer in the Justice Department who represents the government in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court is called the Solicitor General.


n. an English attorney who may perform all legal services, except appear in court. Under the British system, the litigator or trial attorney takes special training in trial work and is called a "barrister." Occasionally a solicitor becomes a barrister, which is called "taking the silk." In the United States and Canada attorneys are referred to interchangeably as solicitors or barristers. (See: attorney)

See: advocate, agent, attorney, barrister, claimant, counsel, counselor, esquire, jurist, lawyer, petitioner, practitioner, procurator, proxy, representative, special interest, suitor


a legal practitioner in the UK. The positions and the rights, duties, obligations and privileges are now regulated by statute. The UK still has a distinction on the one hand between the ordinary lawyer, who is a man of affairs, and a generalist, who (in England especially) does not essentially appear in courts, and on the other hand the BARRISTER or ADVOCATE. However, the distinction is becoming blurred with the creation of the SOLICITOR ADVOCATE. See LAW SOCIETY, LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND.

SOLICITOR. A person whose business is to be employed in the care and management of suits depending in courts of chancery.
     2. A solicitor, like an attorney, (q.v.) will be required to act with perfect good faith towards his clients. He must conform to the authority given him. It is said that to institute a suit he must have a special authority, although a general authority will be sufficient to defend one. The want of a written authority, may subject him to the expenses incurred in a suit. 3 Mer. R. 12; Hov, Fr. ch. 2, p. 28 to 61. Vide 1 Phil. Ev. 102; 19 Vin. Ab. 482; 7 Com. ]big. 357; 8 Com. Dig. 985; 2 Chit. Pr. 2. See Attorney at law; Counsellor at law; Proctor.

References in periodicals archive ?
Choosing a solicitor All solicitors in private practice must hold a practising certificate issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the professional regulatory body for solicitors.
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Created in 1870 and colloquially referred to as the 10th Supreme Court Justice, the Solicitor General represents the United States government before the Supreme Court.
You might have costs to pay if: | your solicitor advises you to drop the case; | you refuse to settle out of court, | you refuse to cooperate with your solicitor.
It's really a complicated issue but according to the solicitor general now, around 70 to 80 percent we will win this case, Calida said.
Anthony Collins Solicitors said Ms MacMillan's extensive experience in working with adults and children with mental health or mental capacity difficulties will strengthen the Court of Protection team's holistic services and support to anyone who might lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
David Garrett and Christopher Murphy, the Partners of FPH Law Solicitors of 11 Hamilton Square Birkenhead, are extremely pleased to announce that on the 1st July 2015, Ballam Solicitors of 58 Hamilton Square Birkenhead have agreed to merge with them.
Richard Lane, Wright Hassall's managing partner, said: "We are delighted to be able to promote these solicitors, all of whom have worked extremely hard to deliver excellent service and support to our clients.
Requires the solicitor to deliver to the referred client the investment advisor's Form ADV Part 2 and a separate solicitor's written disclosure document (described below)
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If you are keen to use your local solicitor, presumably because you're happy with work they have done for you in the past, then there may be an additional cost because you will pay the bank for the work carried out by their solicitor and a separate fee for the conveyancing work carried out by your own solicitor, which would include checking titles and providing help and advice at each step of the purchase process.
Rule 206(4)-3 requires a written agreement between the advisor and the solicitor that sets forth certain terms and conditions of the referral arrangement.