Advocacy in the solicitors' profession

21 August 2019

We carried out a survey to gain a better understanding about advocacy in the profession. Specifically, on who is providing advocacy services, what types of advocacy they provide and the types of courts they practise in.

This builds upon our previous research into judicial perceptions of the quality of criminal advocacy and our criminal advocacy thematic review, both published in 2018.

The findings have also been used to help inform proposals within our Assuring advocacy standards consultation.


This research was informed by an online survey taken by 2,830 individual solicitors and 851 firms. It looks specifically at advocacy in the profession within the context of the different areas of law of advocacy, and was designed to cover a wide range of topics.

We used online questionnaires to survey1:

  • Firms providing advocacy
  • Solicitors working in law firms
  • Solicitors working in-house

Within each survey we looked at different types of advocacy:

  • Criminal
  • Civil (excluding family)
  • Family
  • Tribunals
  • Other types of advocacy
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  1. We also surveyed individual solicitors working for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS survey received a total of 73 responses and was too low to report meaningful results. These have therefore been excluded from the analysis.
  2. The small claims track involves claims not exceeding £10,000. The fast track is the normal route for claims between £10,000 and £25,000. More complex and important cases are assigned to the multi-track.