serjeant-at-law. Hist. English law. A barrister of superior grade; one who had achieved the highest degree of the legal profession, having (until 1846) the exclusive privilege of practicing in the Court of Common Pleas. ? Every judge of the common-law courts was required to be a serjeant-at-law until the Judicature Act of 1873. The rank was gradually superseded by that of Queen’s Counsel. ¡ª Often shortened to serjeant.

¡ª Also termed serjeant at the law; serjeant of the law; serjeant of the coif; serviens narrator.

premier serjeant. The serjeant given the primary right of preaudience by royal letters patent.

¡ª Also termed prime serjeant. See PREAUDIENCE.

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