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Key Takeaways

There are three kinds of advocates in India:

1. Senior Advocates
2. Advocates-on-record
3. Other advocates

Under the Advocates Act, 1961, there are two kinds of advocates, viz. advocates and Senior advocates and the honorable Supreme Court makes provisions for advocates-on-record.

Advocates are those whose names are entered in the roll of any of the State Bar Councils under the Advocates Act.
Senior advocates are designated are designated to be so by either the Supreme Court or any of the High Courts by virtue of that advocate’s experience, standing at the Bar, knowledge and ability.

Advocates-on-record are the only advocates who are entitled to file any matter or document before the Supreme Court.


What is the difference amongst Senior Advocate, an Advocate on Record and an advocate?

The Advocates Act makes a provision for two kinds of advocates i.e. Senior Advocates and advocates. However, the Supreme Court of India has, in exercise of its rule making power, made a provision for advocate on record. The distinction amongst them are as follows:


Senior Advocates are designated as such by the Supreme Court of India or by any High Court. The Court can designate any advocate, with his consent, as Senior Advocate if in its opinion by virtue of his ability and standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, the said advocate is deserving of such distinction. A Senior Advocate is not entitled to appear without an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court or without a junior in any other court or tribunal in India. He is also not entitled to accept instructions to draw pleadings or affidavits, advise on evidence or do any drafting work of an analogous kind in any court or tribunal in India or undertake conveyancing work of any kind whatsoever, but this prohibition shall not extend to settling any such matter as aforesaid in consultation with a junior.


Only these advocates are entitled to file any matter or document before the Supreme Court. They can also file an appearance or act for a party in the Supreme Court. No other High Court in India has a similar provision.


These are advocates whose names are entered on the roll of any State Bar Council maintained under the Advocates Act, 1961 and they can appear and argue any matter on behalf of a party in any court or tribunal. However, in the Supreme Court, they are not entitled to file any document or matter before the Court.

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