Section 16 provides that there shall be two classes of advocates, namely,
senior advocates and other advocates. An advocate may, with his consent, be
designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court is of
opinion that by virtue of his ability, standing at the Bar or special
knowledge or experience in law, he is deserving of such distinction. Senior
advocates shall, in the matter of their practice, be subject to such
restrictions as the Bar Council of India may, in the interest of legal
profession, prescribe. An advocate of the Supreme Court Who was a senior
advocate of that Court immediately before the appointed day shall, for this
purpose be deemed to be a senior advocate.
Provided that where any such
senior advocate makes an application before the 31st December, 1965, to the
Bar Council, maintaining the roll in which his name has been entered that he
does not desire to continue as a senior advocate, the Bar Council may grant
the application and the roll shall be altered accordingly. The rules framed
by the Bar Council of India in the exercise of its power under section
49(1)(g) 0f the Advocates Act are also notable. Chapter I of Part VI of the
Rules of Bar Council of India makes provisions in relation to the senior
advocates. The provisions of these rules may be summed up as follows:
In the matter of their practice, a senior advocate shall not file a
vakalatnama or act in any court or Tribunal or before any person or
authority mentioned in Section 30 of the Advocates Act. Explanation to the
rule makes it clear that ‘to act’ means to file an appearance or any
pleading or application in any Court or Tribunal or before any person or
other authority mentioned in section 30 of the Act or to do any act other
than pleading required or authorised by law to be done by a party in such
courts or Tribunal or before any person or other authority mentioned in the
said section either in person or by his recognised agent or by an advocate
or an attorney on his behalf.
The rule provides further that a senior advocate shall not appear without an
advocate on record in the Supreme Court or without an advocate in Part II of
the State Roll in any Court or Tribunal or before any person or other
authorities mentioned in Section 30 of the Act. Where a senior advocate has
been engaged prior to the coming into force of the rules, he shall not
continue thereafter, unless an advocate in Part II of the State Roll is
engaged along with him, provided that a senior advocate may continue to
appear without an advocate in Part II of the State Roll in case which he had
been briefed to appear for the prosecution or the defence in a criminal
case, if he was so briefed before he is designated as a senior advocate or
before coming in the operation of the rules, as the case may be.
Besides, a senior advocate shall not accept instructions to draft pleading
or affidavits, advice on evidence or to do any drafting work of an analogous
kind in any Court or Tribunal or before any person or other authority
mentioned in Section 80 of the Act or undertake conveyancing work of any
This restriction shall not extend to settle any such matter as aforesaid in
consultation with an advocate in Part .II of the State Roll.
The rule provides further that a senior advocate be free to make concessions
or give undertakings in the course of arguments on behalf of his clients on
instructions from the junior advocates. A senior advocate may in recognition
of the services rendered by an advocate in Part II of the State Roll
appearing in any matter pay him a fee which he considers reasonable.
The rule provides that a senior advocate who had acted as an advocate
(junior) in a case cannot, after he has been designated as a senior
advocate, advice on grounds of appeal in a court of appeal or in the Supreme
Court, except with an advocate as aforesaid. It has also been provided that
a senior advocate shall not accept directly from a client any brief or
instructions to appear in any Court or Tribunal or before any person or
other authority in India.
Features of Senior Advocate
Section 16 of the Advocates Act, 1961 states that there shall be two classes
of advocates, namely, senior advocates and other advocates. A lawyer, with
his consent, may be designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a
High Court is of that opinion that by virtue of his ability, standing at the
Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, he is deserving of such
Capability or ability to show your talent to
multi-party work environment and this process shows your talent of working well
in a team as well as it sets a collective contribution so as to satisfy the
client. The main aim is to settle the ego and positions of each other to reach
the maximum outcome.
Proper Time Management:
Law demands hard work and hard work needs time
and with that it also needs to prioritise their work, task and also delegate the
Credibility is based on trust. The keystone of you career is
built on this level of trust with your colleagues, clients, judges and sometimes
even opposing counsel. But this quality or a trait which is not by birth but it
is earned with time. The only effective way to build your career is trust and
human interaction is a way to maintain it or destroy it. In this profession, one
should be a man of words.
Both personal and professional confidence is needed to become
a senior advocate as analysing power of your decision time, advantages and
disadvantages should be high. Confidence can be seen within yourself and it
defines you as you walk and talk. Even your gestures play a major role.
Attention to detail:
While drafting any paper, misplace of single word
can convert the meaning of the sentence. An advocate must have an accurate
approach towards their work. Any mistake application can lead to rejection of
Experience speaks. With your practise experience comes. It is
one of the traits that a senior advocate has and through this experience an
advocate can handle all the cases, circumstances and even all the unwanted
situations. His handling power becomes prominent with comparison to others.
A good lawyer always keeps his personal life separate
from professional life and they usually are not emotional. But they need to
understand the feelings of the other person and apprehend their issues. This
trait is very important your personality. Your ability is tested when you can
think in any circumstances or situations without even consulting your associates
and then present that case in your favour in a reasonable or logical manner so
as to win your case. Never take your opposite counsel personally because it’s
about your client not about you and always be harmonious even with opposite
Whether your case is on a negative track or a positive
track control on emotions, expression and thoughts is also essential. You always
need to think before you speak. If words are beneficial they can be harmful too.
A senior lawyer always have a stability in this thoughts as
well as in his career. He can tackle every situation in a peaceful manner and
have a conversation calmly without any aggression. Stability and maturity in
professional or personal life comes with experience.
Senior Advocates And other Advocates
- A senior advocate in general is based and judged on age and
experience of a particular legal profession. It is also defined in
Advocates Act as stated above. While a junior lawyer lacks experience
and does not have much idea of how to tackle things and go around with
- Senior advocate has to follow a separate code of conduct. It is
different from other lawyers.
- General people see an aged lawyer with good practice and experience
as a ‘senior lawyer’ while a fresh lawyer needs to learn so many things
from the senior lawyer and had to grasp some skills.
- Devotion and years of practice is the key behind the success of a
senior lawyer while a junior lawyer lacks this skill and quality.
- Senior advocates are prohibited from doing some kind of legal work
like drafting, etc while junior advocates have no such prohibition.
- The status of senior lawyer is designated to them by the Supreme
Court or High Court on the basis of merit and seniority.
- The court can give this status to any advocate but with their
consent if it is in the opinion because of his ability or special
knowledge in law.
- A saving provision has been laid down with respect to the advocates
who are right now senior advocates and who will continue to enjoy the
status of senior
- A senior advocate is prohibited or banned from accepting some kind
of legal work. For e.g. drafting, draw pleadings or affidavits,
- A senior advocate is not permitted to appear without an
Advocate-on-record or without any junior.
- A senior cannot file any pleading or represent his client neither
can draft an application by his own handwriting.
But this does not mean that it gives special favour or does any
discrimination and if it does then it will violate Article 14 that is
equality and Article 18 conferment of any title of the constitution.
The role and duty of advocate is to help in providing justice. Advocate work
as an instrument of getting justice. Senior advocate is recognition of his
skills, experience, knowledge and expertise. If one is aspiring to become a
senior advocate, then it needs lots of sweat taking hard work and with that
special knowledge in the field of law. But only hard work is not the key to
success with that you also need to do some smart work. Among that, building
your communication skills, advocacy skills, counselling skills and use of
your brain in multiple directions. To become a senior lawyer and a have a
special ability is not so easy task. Experience is one of the major factors
which creates your confidence and leads you to the success.