One of the biggest changes to the Guernsey Bar over the last 20-30 years is that most Advocates now specialise in one or more areas of law. For example, in the past the same Advocate might have dealt with your divorce, drafted your will, advised you on buying a business and acted for you in Court if you had an accident and wanted to claim compensation for your injuries.
Whilst there are some Advocates who still undertake general work, in many cases now you would be referred to a different specialist within an Advocates’ firm to deal with each of these matters. Some firms now only deal with certain types of matter. For example, there are some firms which only deal with financial services matters (and which will not, for example, be able to deal with a divorce, or a compensation claim for personal injury) whilst other firms only deal with “private client” work involving advising members of the public on their legal requirements.
Set out below is a list of the principal areas of specialisation, and what they involve.
“Litigation” is the word which lawyers use to describe anything which involves proceedings before a Court or Tribunal. There are different types of litigation with which an Advocate can assist.
Litigation in detail
When lawyers refer to “private client” work, they mean work which isn’t litigation and which involves members of the general public (as opposed to businesses). The areas of work which are most common in this area are:
Private Client in detail
The States of Guernsey operate a Legal Aid Scheme under which those of limited means or who are accused of crimes may be able to obtain the services of an Advocate without being charged or at a reduced charge.
Legal Aid in detail