What is a solicitor advocate?
A solicitor advocate is a solicitor who has had extra training, so he or she can appear on behalf of their clients in all the courts in Scotland. Most solicitors can only appear in some of the courts in Scotland.
The technical description is that solicitor advocates are solicitors who have been granted extended rights of audience before the superior courts in Scotland - the Court of Session in civil cases and the High Court of Justiciary in criminal cases – and the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.
This means that they can represent clients in the higher courts in the United Kingdom, alongside barristers and advocates.
Unlike barristers and advocates, however, solicitor advocates do more than just the court-related work. They are usually part of solicitor firms, with a supportive team behind them. They run the case from start to finish - building a relationship with the client, carrying out all the necessary investigations, getting involved in all the details, preparing all the paperwork and also appearing in court.
As solicitors, solicitor advocates are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. They not only have to comply with the general standards expected of all solicitors but with codes of conduct specifically relating to solicitor advocates.