Solicitors dealt with wills, land conveyances, trusts, marriage settlements, employment contracts, leases - and dealing with the bank. They were often retained as a family's man of business.
In many criminal cases, as well as civil suits, the injured party had to prosecute the case against the alleged perpetrator. Those who could afford it hired a solicitor who briefed a barrister to act for the plaintiff. Because of the cost, merchants banded together to share the cost of prosecuting shoplifters and those who charged for goods but did not deliver them.