The practice of law in the United Kingdom is divided into two distinct main areas between solicitors and barristers. Solicitors have traditionally been the client's first point of contact. They act as the client's representative before the law and conduct litigation on their behalf, undertaking tasks such as gathering evidence through the taking of witness statements, corresponding with the other side's legal representatives and making applications to the court and in effect running and preparing the case for court. Barristers are specialist advocates and advisers. They draft legal pleadings, give expert opinions on the legal aspects of a case, and provide expert advocacy in the courtroom.