Your Solicitors – Using Them Effectively

Knowing what to expect from your solicitor and knowing what to do prior to meeting with them will help you have a stress-free transaction.

Tip 1

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. Do research on the Internet to find firms that practice the relevant area of law and are situated in your region, then contact each one for a quote. 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 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.

Tip 2

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 should ensure that you do not have to come back into the office at a later date with these things.

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Tip 3

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. When discussing a matter that has several different occurrences it is sometimes helpful to produce a timeline of events or ‘chronology’ 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.

Tip 4

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.

Tip 5

Fix costs with your solicitor. Your solicitor might give you a quote for the whole job or might work on an hourly rate – it depends on the nature of the work being undertaken. 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.

Tip 6

At the risk on annoying your solicitor, do not be afraid to check in on the progress of your case. If you believe that your solicitor is not keeping you informed with the progress of the case then raise this concern with them, if this does not work inform the department’s senior partner. If you receive no recourse from doing either of these things then use the firm’s complaints handling procedure.

Bonallack & Bishop are Salisbury Solicitors, with a team of experienced
medical negligence solicitors
. Senior Partner Tim Bishop is responsible for all major strategic decisions. He has grown the firm by 1000% in 13 years and sees himself as a businessman who owns a law firm.
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