The need for a Solicitor is seldom under happy circumstances, but it’s a necessity of life. Whether you’ve been the victim of a crime, a lawsuit or you need to make arrangements for your will. It’s incredibly important to find a firm that’s appropriate both for your needs and you, as a person.
A professional relationship with a lawyer is very different from that of an accountant or insurer. Depending on the sensitivity of the issue there will be a level of intimacy with your adviser. It’s incredibly important to establish trust and a comfortable rapport. It’s important not only for your peace of mind but for the efficiency and fluidity with which they’ll be able to work.
Finding solicitors in London can be a stressful task, due to the sheer volume of options. But by considering your needs strategically, you can make an informed decision swiftly and with confidence.
Know whom to look for
If you’ve never sought a lawyer before, the first key element is to do the proper research. Make sure you’re getting a solicitor that specialises in your particular needs. The law covers a vast number of areas, with many niche solicitors and sub-areas of expertise. Gather as much data as you can about your needs and be brutally honest with yourself about the reality of the situation. Is it a no-fault divorce or a contested divorce? Are you in breach of contract? Did you commit an infraction or wrongfully accused? The clearer and more straightforward you can be about your issue, the more likely it is you’ll find a lawyer that has experience with your particular circumstance.
Seek a Solicitor referral
Unless it’s a very unusual situation, chances are that someone from your network of friends, family, colleagues or acquaintances has been there. Try and speak to someone who has been in a situation similar to yours and find out what lawyer. Heck, even online reviews or feedback communities would be helpful. Be mindful of solicitors with inconsistent or very few reviews, try to select an established firm with a proven track record and get a 2nd, even 3rd opinion if you’re not sure.
Have a realistic budget
Like it or not, lawyers and fees are like peaches and cream. Even a simple exchange of emails will come with an invoice attached, often per email! One of the most efficient ways for you to narrow down your choices is to be honest with yourself about what you can afford – and almost over-estimate. Request as much information upfront as you can with regards to potential costs before you commit to anyone and if proceedings encounter complications and delays, you can be sure that fees will increase beyond your initial estimate.
Do a cost/benefit analysis – will the price of a lawyer be worth it for the final outcome? What are you risking financially in the long term if your case drags out or doesn’t have a favourable outcome. You don’t want to have to switch to a cheaper option down the line or have to make unpleasant compromises. Again, ask your friends where possible. It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but if they’re willing to help you, it’s important to see a realistic example of how much a solicitor cost someone.
Whomever you choose, the bottom line is that you’re hiring someone to look out for your best interests, so it’s mutually beneficial for them to maximise your chances of success. But be selective and vet their track records and reputation, especially if the stakes are high.