Advocacy is a key skill within the legal profession, one that’s most commonly associated with Barristers. However, more and more Solicitors are now undertaking qualifications to become a solicitor-advocate which entitles them similar rights to barristers. This piece will give you all the information you need to know about solicitor advocacy if you are interested in obtaining this qualification yourself.

What Is a Solicitor Advocate?

A solicitor advocate is, in basic terms, someone who is fully qualified as a solicitor but has gained the same rights of audience as a barrister by obtaining an extra qualification. This allows them to represent their clients in the following courts:

  • The High Court
  • The Crown Court
  • Court of Appeal
  • The Supreme Court

These are courts in which a barrister would usually be instructed by a solicitor to advocate for their cases. Therefore, the role of a solicitor-advocate is one that neatly brings together the role of a solicitor and a barrister allowing said individual to represent their client in totality the whole way through their case. This consistency is often highlighted as one of the main benefits of obtaining this extra qualification. Solicitor advocates tend to be specialised in litigation in either criminal or civil matters.


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How to Become a Solicitor Advocate

To become a solicitor advocate, solicitors are required to obtain a Higher Rights of Audience qualification. This can be civil or criminal focused. If you want to be able to exercise higher rights of audience in both branches, then you will have to carry out two different assessments. These courses usually take a few days and are split into evidence & litigation and advocacy.

Generally, these courses include a written assessment and a practical assessment – including both oral assessments and an advocacy test. Whilst most providers highlight that you do not need any formal training in advocacy to undergo the assessments, these providers also offer such training and highly recommend undertaking it before you attempt the assessments to ensure success.

Solicitor Advocate Courses

In order to obtain your qualification in Higher Rights of Audience, you will have to undergo an assessment by a provider accepted as accredited to do so by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. See below for a list of course providers, the locations they offer the course in, start dates and prices.

Course DetailsProviderStart Date (2020)Fees
Higher Rights of Audience
(HRA) Civil and Criminal Higher Rights of Audience

Available in London and Manchester. Depending on course start date
March, May, June, September, November (depending on chosen course)For each start date, you can take and pay for each element separately but for packages:

Civil Higher Rights Pack - £1,818

Criminal Higher Rights Pack - £1,818
Higher Rights of Audience (HRA)

Civil and Criminal
University of Law

Various locations.

Each part of the package has various dates applied to it for the 2020 cycle.
You can take and pay for each element separately but for packages:

Civil Training and Assessment: £1794

Criminal Training and Assessment: £1794
Higher Rights of Audience (HRA)

Civil and Criminal Available
Kaplan Altior

London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff
Depends on courseYou can take and pay for each element separately but for the package:

Higher Rights of Audience

Civil Only
CPD Training

Various in February, May, September and November
For the package:

Higher Rights of Audience

Civil and Criminal Available
City, University of LondonVarious months throughout the yearCivil Training: £995
Civil Assessment: £495

Criminal Training: £995
Criminal Assessment: £495

Words: Alicia Gibson

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