Always shop around before seeking legal advice. be careful of appointing your old-fashioned local high street firm with only one local solicitor. Often small firms struggle with workloads and the progress of your case is slow and expensive. Use the Internet to research areas of law that firms in your area 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.
Worried about a legal issue? Don’t suffer in silence. Here at Bonallack & Bishop, initial legal advice on the phone is always FREE.
Simply call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or Salisbury (01722) 422300, and put your mind at rest.
Make sure you appoint a genuine specialist. Long gone are the days when your average solicitor used to cover everything. Law and procedure has become increasingly complex – and it simply not practical or safe for one solicitor to cover every area of law.
And some areas of law optically complex and require genuine specialists – when it can be worth going outside your immediate area to find them. Here at Bonallack and Bishop we are proud to have a number of highly specialist teams including the following:
• medical negligence – the head of our medical negligence team, Denise Broomfield, is one of just around 180 solicitors (out of well over 150,000 nationally, not to mention legal executives and unqualified staff) who is on both of the leading medical negligence solicitors’ panels run by the Law Society and AvMA
• lease extension and freehold purchase – extending a residential lease or enfranchising your block, is a highly specialist area of work, and the average property solicitor rarely comes across it, if ever. We have a team of 5 people doing nothing but this work – possibly the largest team of its type in the country.
Ask 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 use 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 fixed fee quote(as is the case for most residential conveyancing work), 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 and if you don’t receive a satisfactory response, then you’re going to need to follow the firm’s internal complaints handling procedure.
Don’t forget your solicitor is human. So being rude to them, bothering them or constantly harassing them is not going to help. And take the advice of my dear old granny – say thank you if they do a good job. A little appreciation goes a long way.
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Whether you’re an individual needing advice or a business needing commercial law representation, the team here at Bonallack & Bishop have the experience and know-how you need. And we offer FREE initial phone advice
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