There are around 2,200 practising barristers in Ireland of which nearly 300 are Senior Counsel
Most barristers reside in Dublin. Ireland is divided into circuits and for organisational
reasons, barristers are attached to certain circuits.
There is information on the history and role of barristers in Ireland and how to qualify as a barrister.
Two searchable directories allow for selection of those members of the Irish bar who also work as
mediators and arbitrators. There is information on Direct Professional Access, legal associations
and the library and information services used by Irish barristers with the Law Library now holding
130,000 volumes as well as modern electronic communications and services.
There is a searchable directory of barristers on the site linked to the Bar Council's own
current database, with full contact details and specialisms.
The Honorable Society of King's Inns was established in 1541 and is named after Henry VIII.
The Society is the competent authority in the Republic of Ireland for the admission of
successful students to the degree of barrister-at-law. The Benchers may disbar barristers
at their own request or as may be required by the Professional Practices Committee.
In most other matters, it is the council of King's Inns that oversees the day-to-day
management and development of the Society.
The Bar Council of Ireland (which looks after the professional interests of practising
barristers) has a number of representatives on the King's Inns council and this ensures
that there is good dialogue between both organisations. There are also two non-practising
barristers on King's Inns council.
The King's Inns site carries information about its courses: a diploma in
legal studies and the full-time and modular courses leading to the
degree of barrister-at-law.
The courses are given by members of the practising bar. The judiciary is
involved in tutorials, moots, motion lists, and other practical aspects
of the profession. Graduates of the degree course are called to the Bar
of Ireland by the Chief Justice.
The King's Inns site also carries information about the services it
provides for its members as well as the history and architecture of the
Inns. Also on the site are sections about the lovely Library at King's
Services relating to selecting a barrister
Brief Counsel Ltd is a new service in the Irish legal services
marketplace that helps Irish solicitors select and manage Irish barristers.
The company (set up by a barrister and an Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year winner) finds solicitors
the most appropriate barrister for their case from all 2,100-plus barristers currently practicing in Ireland.
The company can get competitive tenders from multiple barristers, find the best barrister for the fee proposed
by the solicitor, and guarantee service standards such as deadlines for written work by counsel. The company’s services,
which are free of charge for solicitors, are complementary to those of the Law Library and have been operating successfully
since 2008 on a pilot basis with selected solicitors and barristers before going public recently following regulatory
clearance for the business. Brief Counsel Ltd says that it is always happy to hear from non-Irish lawyers and
professional clients seeking the services of Irish barristers.