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Frequently asked questions


Common Questions

What is the difference between and attorney and an advocate?

It is comparable to the relationship between a general practitioner (GP) in medicine and a specialist.


Of the fundamental differences between the two branches of the profession, the most glaring would be that advocates take instructions from attorneys while attorneys take instructions from the public.


Advocates thus do not keep files of client’s cases, but rather accept briefs of attorneys’ instructions and return them on completion. Unlike an attorney who may be instructed by any member of the public in open-ended terms to “handle my matter,” an advocate is briefed by an attorney to undertake some specific task in prosecuting a case or to advise on some specific question in a matter that the attorney is already working on.

Accordingly, advocates do not accept money from or on behalf of members of the public, and are not allowed to operate trust accounts.

Attorneys, on the other hand, are legally obliged to maintain trust accounts to deposit all moneys that they receive on behalf of the public. This is a vital distinction for the sake of members of the public for whose protection the trust accounts are required.


Another important difference lies in the qualifications required to begin practice as an advocate. A practitioner must have worked for a minimum of three years as an employee of a law firm and have passed certain examinations. That is because this process is compulsory for any legal practitioner to practice as a principal.


Advocates practice for their own account and independently of each other as sole practitioners. Therefore, any practitioner who did not acquire the prescribed experience but claims to be a Zimbabwean advocate on any basis whatsoever does so in glaring defiance of the law.


Also, a lawyer who is actually an attorney but claims to be an advocate misleads the public.


For a member of the public to be misled as to who is or is not an advocate can have significant and harmful practical consequences. Lawyers who were never employed in a law firm for at least three years but claim to be advocates are practicing illegally.


The validity of the judgments granted in cases where they appear could be questioned one day. In a less drastic example, since advocates may not have partners or professional assistants, a client who is misled into thinking that an attorney is an advocate would simultaneously be misled into thinking that they are paying for the personal and direct work of that lawyer alone. That client may instead be served by the fake advocate’s associates, and only after the falsehood has misled them into paying fees. None of this harm need ever arise if the stark distinction between the two branches of the profession is respected by the profession itself for the good of the public whom it is meant to serve.


So the Zimbabwean term “advocate” is actually delightfully clear in its meaning and application. An advocate is a legal practitioner who, having gained the necessary qualifications after registration, practices for their own account as a consultant to attorneys who instruct the advocate to perform specific tasks or advise on questions arising in matters being worked on by those attorneys.

How do I engage the services of Advocate Amanda?

Contact us on the email address provided for more information about Advocate Amanda’s services.

You can also ask your lawyer to send specific instructions to Advocate Amanda, whether it is to draft certain documents, to represent you in a matter in Court or any forum where you are allowed to have a lawyer. Advocate Amanda can also provide a legal opinion on an ongoing matter and assist with a strategy on how to go about it as well as assess the prospects of success

What kind of work does an Advocate Do?

1.     Superior Court Appearances


High Court , Specialised Courts, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court

-       Appeals

-       Trial

-       Virtual Proceedings

-       Arbitration

-       Conciliation Hearings

-       Divorces

2.     Legal Research and Drafting


-       Heads of Argument

-       Summons commencing action

-       Commercial Court pleadings

-       Legal opinions