Why the Bar rely on Thomson Reuters

Why the Bar rely on Thomson Reuters

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You have been instructed to advise the client in writing on what remedies are available to them in a contractual dispute.

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Instructions to advise in writing

Your instructing solicitor has asked for your assessment of the merits of the case and the options open to the client, but they may already have identified a number of specific procedural and legal points on which they would like you to advise.

  • Westlaw UK Insight and Practical Law practice notes offer a perfect starting point for your advice, providing an authoritative but concise overview of the relevant principles and current trends. They can bring you up to speed quickly with recent developments, provide an overview of an area of the law that may be unfamiliar to you with links to related cases, legislation and commentary.
  • Westlaw UK’s primary source materials such as case law, legislation - including consolidated versions of statutes and the associated statutory instruments, journals and authoritative commentary content from Sweet & Maxwell to conduct deep research on points pertinent to your case.
  • Use the online version of the White Book for rapid access to the Civil Procedure Rules and detailed procedural commentary, and the other online Sweet & Maxwell titles (such as Chitty on Contracts and McGregor on Damages) for in-depth research on substantive points. The Westlaw UK functionality makes it easy to search one title or a selection of titles at once, helping you to quickly locate all relevant discussion and analysis.

Conference with instructing solicitors and the client

You have sent your written advice to your instructing solicitors and client, and a conference has been arranged for a few weeks time to discuss the issues and enable you to obtain further instructions.

  • To help you keep up to speed with any new case law or other legal developments that might affect your advice or the strategy to be taken in the case, read the Practical Law weekly current awareness emails and check the Practical Law RSS feeds.
  • The evening before the conference, you get an email from your instructing solicitors with additional information from the client. Carry out a further search for case law from home with Practical Law and Westlaw UK, quickly identifying and downloading relevant legal updates and judgments, so that you can review them in time for the conference.

Hearing preparation

As a barrister your reputation is everything and in court you can’t risk missing the slightest detail.

  • When preparing your skeleton argument, use Practical Law's legal updates and Westlaw UK's judgment transcripts to help you identify and summarise key points from the authorities, plus the White Book and other Sweet & Maxwell titles to help craft more detailed submissions on procedural and substantive issues.
  • Use the White Book and the White Book Costs and Funding Q&A supplement to help you address any unexpected procedural points taken by your opponent in their skeleton argument.


You need to be prepared to act and reply to any issue that may arise in court.

  • A procedural point arises in court, and your opponent relies on a case which you are sure has just been reversed on appeal. Use Westlaw UK's Case Analysis function to check the position before you draw it to the judge's attention.
  • The judge mentions a case which they consider to be relevant and asks both parties' counsel to think about it over lunch and address at the beginning of the afternoon sitting. Use Practical Law to search for details of the case in the practice notes and legal updates, then take a closer look at the judgment on Westlaw UK and check for any additional commentary in the online Sweet & Maxwell titles.
  • You have completed the hearing and just have to finalise your closing submissions. If working away from home, you can access Practical Law and Westlaw UK on the move, enabling you to double-check any last-minute points.