Counsel


Counsel

A counsel or a counselor gives advice, more particularly in legal matters.

U.K. and Ireland

The legal system in England uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister-at-law, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers engaged in a case. It seems uncertain as to whether the term also applies to a solicitor advocate. Some judges and lawyers apply the term interchangeably between both barristers and solicitor advocates.

The difference between "Barrister" and "Counsel" is subtle. "Barrister" is a professional title awarded by one of the four Inns of Court, and is used in a barrister's private, academic or professional capacity. "Counsel" is used to refer to a barrister who is instructed on a particular case. It is customary to use the third person when addressing a barrister instructed on a case: "Counsel is asked to advise" rather than "You are asked to advise".

The legal term counselor, or more fully, counselor-at-law, became practically obsolete in England, but continued in use locally in Ireland[citation needed] as an equivalent to barrister, where a Senior Counsel (S.C.) is equivalent to the English Queen's Counsel (Q.C.)

North America

In the United States of America, the term counselor-at-law designates, specifically, an attorney admitted to practice in all courts of law; but as the United States legal system makes no formal division of the legal profession into two classes, as in England, most US citizens use the term loosely in the same sense as lawyer, meaning one who is versed in (or practicing) law.

In the United States and Canada, many large and midsize law firms have lawyers with the job title of "counsel", "special counsel" or "of counsel". These lawyers are employees of the firm like associates, although some firms have an independent contractor relationship with them. But unlike associates, and more like partners, they generally have their own clients, manage their own files, and supervise associates. (For more information, see the Law firm article.)

See also


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  • counsel — coun·sel 1 / kau̇n səl/ n pl counsel [Old French conseil advice, from Latin consilium discussion, advice, council, from consulere to consult]: lawyer: as a: a lawyer participating in the management or trial of a case in court ...to have the… …   Law dictionary

  • Counsel — Coun sel (koun s[e^]l), n. [OE. conseil, F. conseil, fr. L. consilium, fr. the root of consulere to consult, of uncertain origin. Cf. {Consult}, {Consul}.] 1. Interchange of opinions; mutual advising; consultation. [1913 Webster] All the chief… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • counsel — coun‧sel [ˈkaʊnsl] noun [countable usually singular] LAW 1. a lawyer who represents a client in a court of law; = barrister Bre: • My defence counsel destroyed his evidence on that fact alone. • The prosecuting counsel told the jury that there… …   Financial and business terms

  • Counsel — Coun sel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Counseled} ( s[e^]ld) or {Counselled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Counseling} or {Counselling}.] [OE. conseilen, counseilen, F. conseiller, fr. L. consiliari, fr. consilium counsel.] 1. To give advice to; to advice, admonish …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • counsel — (n.) early 13c., from O.Fr. counseil (10c.) advice, counsel; deliberation, thought, from L. consilium plan, opinion (see CONSULTATION (Cf. consultation)). As a synonym for lawyer, first attested late 14c. The verb is recorded from late 13c., from …   Etymology dictionary

  • counsel — [n1] guidance admonition, advice, advisement, caution, consideration, consultation, deliberation, direction, forethought, information, instruction, kibitz*, recommendation, steer, suggestion, tip, tip off*, two cents’ worth*, warning, word to the …   New thesaurus

  • counsel — ► NOUN 1) advice, especially that given formally. 2) (pl. same) a barrister or other legal adviser conducting a case. 3) archaic consultation, especially to seek advice. ► VERB (counselled, counselling; US counseled, counseling …   English terms dictionary

  • counsel — [koun′səl] n. [ME & OFr counseil < L consilium (for base see CONSULT); confused in ME with COUNCIL] 1. a mutual exchange of ideas, opinions, etc.; discussion and deliberation 2. a) advice resulting from such an exchange b) any advice …   English World dictionary

  • counsel — n 1 *advice Analogous words: admonishing or admonition, chiding, reproaching or reproach (see corresponding verbs at REPROVE): warning, forewarning, cautioning or caution (see corresponding verbs at WARN): precept, rule (see LAW) 2 * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • counsel — counsel; mis·counsel; …   English syllables

  • Counsel — (engl., spr. Kauns l), abgekürzt von Counseller, Rathgeber, Rath, Sachwalter, Advocat; Queens C. (spr. Kwihns K.), Rath der Königin, ist ein als besondere Auszeichnung einem Sergeant at law verliehener Titel, mit welchem das Vorrecht verbunden… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon


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