There exists some confusion as to the difference between a solicitor and a lawyer or barrister. In simple terms, a solicitor handles legal issues that don't require his presence in a court of law. That does not mean that a solicitor can't assist a barrister in gathering evidence and information for a court case, it just means that the bulk of a solicitor's work is done out of court. But solicitors are highly trained legal professionals who can provide their services in different legal situations.
If You Are a Business Owner Who Is Suing Another Company...a solicitor can investigate your claims against the other company, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and even negotiate an out of court settlement. Common reasons that you may sue another company include intellectual property infringement, copyright infringement or corporate espionage, which involves the theft of proprietary information related to your products and services.
If You Need Asset Protection...then a solicitor can create an entire asset management plan on your behalf, which includes writing a will and even setting up an advanced directive in the event that you become incapacitated and are not in the proper mental state to make decisions about your finances. Asset management is important so that your family does not have to undergo probate, in which a court decides how to allocate your assets. And because it is largely an out of court process, solicitors are valuable when it comes to this type of legal service.
If You Are Involved in a Family Law Issue...then a solicitor can help you negotiate a settlement that relates to the division of property in a divorce, custody rights issues and even legal issues related to adoptions. Although a barrister would argue any divorce proceeding that goes to court, a solicitor is often the legal representative behind the scenes who creates the framework for many settlements related to a divorce. Your solicitor would meet with either a family lawyer or solicitor retained by the other side to work out settlement details in advance of a court proceeding, or to avoid having to go to court, where a judge would make the final decision. If you are trying to adopt a child, especially one from overseas, a solicitor can help you navigate the adoption laws both in Australia and abroad, and ensure that you are in compliance with all the adoption qualifications necessary for the process to be approved.