Top Tips on Using Your Solicitor Effectively
Always shop around before seeking legal advice. Do not be tempted to use your local high street firm with only one local solicitor. Often small firms struggle with workloads and the progress of your case is laboured and thus expensive. Use the Internet to research areas of law that firms in your region practice, once you have produced a list of suitable firms, contact the relevant team for quotation. You can then use these quotations in a price comparison. Be wary however of merely choosing the cheapest option, it is sensible to call the law firm and speak to a solicitor that would deal with your case, you will soon gain a feeling of whether or not you could work with and accept advice from this person.
Upon making a first appointment with your solicitor ask them to list exactly what identification, documentation, or evidence they will need to see so that you can bring this with you. This will prevent a second visit in order to bring these things into the office.
Prior to attending your first appointment think about your issue or topic of advice carefully. You should prepare adequately in order to utilise your time with the solicitor effectively. Produce a list of burning questions that you need answers to as a priority. Also if you are going to discuss a matter that either contains several occurrences or has taken place over a period of time, it is sensible to produce a timeline of events for your solicitor. This will enable him/her to look at the facts of the case in a logical order and you will not waste time by trawling through dates and times during your appointment.
Your solicitor should always offer to send you a client care letter after your first appointment, this will summarise your discussion, any advice that was given, actions to be taken and provide details regarding the firm’s complaints policy. However, if after your appointment there is no mention of a client care letter, do not be afraid to ask your solicitor to put the details of the meeting into a letter for you. It is at this point that you should also try and ascertain a quote for your solicitor’s fees and a timescale for any actions to be taken.
Fix costs with your solicitor. Depending on the type of work that you have requested your solicitor may provide you with a quote, or will be working on an hourly rate. If it is the latter, then you should always agree a fee limit with the solicitor. This means that if it appears that they may go over the agreed amount they will contact your first for authorisation, this ensures that no unexpected bills arrive at the end of the transaction.
At the risk on annoying your solicitor, do not be afraid to check in on the progress of your case. If you feel like you are not being kept adequately informed then raise this concern with your solicitor (or case Partner) and if you receive no recourse follow the firm’s complaints handling procedure.
For legal advice from a Solicitor in Salisbury or Andover, contact us today.