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What Is a No Win No Fee Solicitor?

Updated on September 4, 2014

Areas That Refer to Lawyers As Solicitors

As I mentioned in my previous capsule, United Kingdom dominates for the term solicitors.

There are also other areas and regions that use the terms no win no fee solicitors:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Nigeria
  7. Cyprus

I'm sure there are others but I'm keeping this list brief.

The Meaning Is Location Specific

If you're from the United States or Canada you may be wondering what no win no fee or words such as solicitor and barrister means in the first place. No win no fee is another way of saying contingency basis, meaning that a solicitor or another legal professional will not charge you unless they win your case.

This can be a great way of picking a good attorney without much risk as you won't be penalized if they are incompetent and cannot win your case for you.

This term is used broadly in the United Kingdom and surrounding areas as here in the United States we refer to solicitors as lawyers or attorneys.

Top regions that refer to attorneys and lawyers as solicitors

Top regions that refer to attorneys and lawyers as solicitors
Top regions that refer to attorneys and lawyers as solicitors | Source

What Does a No Win No Fee Solicitor Do?

Depending on their area of legal practice a solicitor's range of job duties can change but here is an average list of job functions that a no win no fee solicitor should be proficient at:


Personal issues such as buying and selling a home or land. Different types of disputes and agreements. Probate and wills. Legal family matters such as divorce. Personal injury and criminal matters.

Business Faced

When a solicitor is working within a commercial capacity the job duties may change the things such as overseeing large corporate transactions, solving business disputes and helping new businesses get started.

Picture of a Solicitor

A professional solicitor located in Manchester, United Kingdom
A professional solicitor located in Manchester, United Kingdom | Source

Solicitor Vs Attorney

The term solicitor is usually used to represent those that work within legal professions in the United Kingdom and other places. Whereas here in America we usually used terms such as attorney or lawyer.

The term lawyer can be broadly used for both solicitors and barristers, the professions abroad.

In the United Kingdom and other areas, a solicitor usually deals with conveyancing which is a process where you make sure that all the legal things are in good standing for sale of land. They may also be used to create contracts for parties doing business and also creating wills for families and loved ones. So basically a solicitor provides general legal counsel such as a general attorney back in the United States.

Barristers are little bit different, they are the ones that are usually in the courtroom on behalf of their clients the majority of the time. Usually they are highly focused and specialized in particular areas of legal concentration. For instance, a general attorney or a solicitor made not be highly specialized such as a narcotics defense attorney or barrister. You can also think of it in terms of a General Doctor versus a Heart Surgeon.

Did You Know the Difference?

Did you previously know the difference between a solicitor and lawyer?

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Solicitor Recap

  • A solicitor is basically a general attorney that doesn't really specialize in one area.
  • A barrister is a person that is highly focus in a particular area of law

You can also refer to the analogy of a General Doctor (solicitor) versus a Brain Surgeon (barrister).

Solicitor Artwork

An artistic picture of a legal representative
An artistic picture of a legal representative | Source

Popular Cities

Here are some popular cities that refer to their attorneys and lawyers as solicitors and barristers.

Solicitors are used strongly within:

Birmingham (not Alabama)

You also have the term barrister being used in cities such as London, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland as well as Brisbane.

Not limited to UK

The term solicitor and barrister is also used in other countries and regions.

For instance the term solicitor is heavily used in Australia which is not a part of the United Kingdom. The words solicitor and barrister are also used within Ireland, not to be confused with Northern Ireland which is already a part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the words solicitor also use within Bailiwick of Jersey, strongly within Saint Helier.

Other countries with the terms are used include New Zealand, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh.

Difference between a barrister / solicitor

There Are Differences

Normally you'll go to a solicitor for your legal matters and one of two things will happen:

  1. They may take your case and begin working on it depending on the severity of it.
  2. If your case is too severe for their general practice so to speak, they may refer to a higher level legal representatives such as a barrister.

Also, depending on your case a legal matter, you may need a highly specialized barrister who is able to attend Superior Courts with his or her "Right of Audience".

What Is a Right of Audience?

A right of audience will allow a barrister to enter the Superior Courts and plead your case for you. Solicitors do not have this right of audience typically and cannot into the courts were your case will be held, which is why your case will be referred to a specialized barrister.

What's a Barrister Look Like?

Here's a photo of a popular and famous barrister
Here's a photo of a popular and famous barrister | Source

In Closing

Now you know what the difference is between a solicitor and a barrister. In addition, you also know would no win no fee means in relation to legal matters.

Next, you should learn about no win no fee solicitors in your area in case you need one.

Questions? Comments?

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