Devilling is the period of training, pupillage or junior work undertaken by a person wishing to become an advocate in one of the legal systems of the United Kingdom or Ireland.



The prospective advocate is placed under the care of a devilmaster who traditionally must not be a Queen's Counsel, and then follows a programme of training as laid down by the Faculty of Advocates.

The process has an ancient heritage, and it is the legal right of the Faculty of Advocates to admit persons as advocates to the Courts of Scotland. This right was apparently granted by the College of Justice.


Devilling is a period of training undertaken by barristers in Ireland, during which they work for a senior barrister (one who has been called for seven or more years but who is not a senior counsel), known as the "master". It can take place during the year after which the devil has been awarded the barrister-at-law degree by the King's Inns although it may be done later. In order to have full rights of audience in the Irish Courts a qualified barrister must devil for at least one year.The work is generally unpaid and there is no obligation on the Master to pay the Devil. A barrister who has not completed his devilling may, nonetheless,be recognised as fully qualified by the bar associations of other EEA member states and practise in those member states in accordance with the relevant EU directives.

England and Wales

The term is used in the English legal system to refer to a junior barrister undertaking paid written work on behalf of a more senior barrister. The instructing solicitor is not informed of the arrangement and the junior barrister is paid by the senior barrister out of his own fee as a private arrangement between the two. This is one of the exceptions to the usual prohibition on fee sharing under the Code of Conduct for Barristers in England and Wales.

Treasury Devil

The "Treasury Devil" is the colloquial term for the First Junior Treasury Counsel , a private practitioner barrister who represents Her Majesty's Government in the civil courts. Traditionally the First Junior Treasury Counsel is not appointed Queen's Counsel[1] but it is nonetheless one of the most prestigious of legal appointments and almost inevitably leads to appointment as a High Court Judge.[citation needed]

While it is true that the Treasury Devil is not a Queen's Counsel, in fact becoming Treasury Devil is much more prestigious than taking silk (becoming a Queen's Counsel).[citation needed] It is simply a tradition of the bar that the Treasury Devil does not take silk.[citation needed]

See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Devilling — devil dev il, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Deviled}or {Devilled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Deviling}or {Devilling}.] 1. To make like a devil; to invest with the character of a devil. [1913 Webster] 2. To grill with Cayenne pepper; to season highly in cooking, as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • devilling — noun The pupillage of a prospective advocate or barrister …   Wiktionary

  • devilling — dev·il || devl n. evil spirit, demon v. harass, tease …   English contemporary dictionary

  • devilling — /devalin)/ A term used in London of a barrister recently admitted to the bar, who assists a junior barrister in his professional work, without appearing in any way in the matter …   Black's law dictionary

  • devilling — …   Useful english dictionary

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