What that judge sees is an Advocate or more for each party and behind them sits a lawyer or some representative from the law firm. In Scotland it has just been announced that they intend to abolish their rule that an agent of the client, normally a solicitor sits behind the advocate in court. It is not an absolute rule in the courts of England. Obviously it does increase costs if there are too many people earning money and doing nothing useful. Nevertheless litigators regulated by IPreg are under a duty to attend or arrange for the attendance of a responsible representative throughout any Court hearing attended by Counsel (3.4 of the Litigators Code). Now clearly in a case where a litigation practitioner is acting as Advocate there is no need and thankfully no duty to have someone to watch your back. It is of course useful to have an ally in court and someone to make notes and pick up the papers you have dropped is convenient. This is an anomaly between the IPReg rules and the SRA code Chapter 5 which now reduces things to principles rather than prescriptive rules.
Soon we can expect Barristers to get the freedom from their regulators to get down to some real solo litigation but in court his rules currently allow him to satisfy himself that a redundant solicitor or patent agent is uneccessary, or more precisely
706. A self-employed barrister who is instructed by a professional client should not conduct a case in Court in the absence of his professional client or a representative of his professional client unless the Court rules that it is appropriate or he is satisfied that the interests of the lay client and the interests of justice will not be prejudiced.Come on IPReg, you seem to be out of line!