Following on from our recent article on how to find the right small business solicitor, Dr Yuri Rapoport, of the new consumer offering “Rapoport’s Directory”, believes that you shouldn’t be paying to educate your solicitor.
Almost everyone needs to employ the services of a solicitor at some point during their life, but over the years they have developed a reputation for being expensive, intimidating and not particularly customer-orientated. According to Which? many consumers have reported a lack of service and/or value for money. In fact, many believe that their solicitor refused to listen to their opinion or feel that they weren’t given any indication of the cost implications of their case.
During a time of financial uncertainty the number of complaints made against solicitors has risen by nearly a third this year, highlighting that some solicitors simply don’t have the relevant professional experience so aren’t delivering on expected service levels. Dr. Yuri Rapoport has proven that a major contributing factor to the rise in consumer complaints is that in most cases, the wrong solicitor was selected at the outset.
Find a solicitor with experience and a proven track record
Many people finding themselves in need of legal representation will go to a local high street solicitor as a matter of course, who may then refer them to a specialist, but that specialist may not necessarily be someone with a proven track record in winning similar cases.
It is rare for a person to seek out a solicitor with relevant experience specific to their case – which in theory would be a sensible measure to take. In contrast, people tend to shop-around for the best deal on, say, car insurance or the most appropriate energy provider yet for something that is more vital to get right first time.
What is needed is a culture-shift in the way we view the legal profession. People need to invest some worthwhile time finding the right solicitor for the job. The question is: how do you go about finding this person?
It stands to reason that if you want advice on something you’d seek it from someone who has been through a similar experience. Using a local high street firm may seem like the easiest option but can you be sure they really have the right experience to win your case?
All qualified solicitors are trained in law, that goes without saying but if the case is complex or new to them, the majority of their time will be spent on researching and reviewing the case and trying to collate the vital information in order to represent you. In short, you’ll be footing the bill to educate your solicitor.
When you seek professional help, you should expect that professional to have the relevant experience to give you the best possible advice – after all, this is what you are paying for. And we’re not just talking about specialist knowledge we’re talking about physical experience of dealing with similar cases.
Look for a solicitor with specialist experience
For example, a solicitor who has handled 1000 drink driving cases is not necessarily a specialist in criminal law (in fact, he/she may not have much experience with any other area of criminal law). But if you wanted representation for this offence, you would be much better off using this solicitor, than say a ‘specialist in criminal law’ who has only handled 15 such cases in the past.
The best approach when looking for representation for a case would be to choose a solicitor who has a wealth of proven experience in that area. They may appear to cost more money initially but choosing the right solicitor could save you a lot of money in the long run.
An experienced solicitor will have already done the ground work. They are likely to understand that specific area of the law inside-out and would have come across all the hurdles that this might present – as a result they can tell you from the outset if you stand a chance of winning.
A solicitor with relevant experience will be aware of all the necessary steps to take to achieve a settlement which truly reflects the needs of the claimant. That settlement will also be obtained within the shortest possible time frame, will be conducted to a high standard throughout, and, will at all times make appropriate use of experts to support the claimant’s case.
Most solicitors charge for their time by the hour and with that in mind it doesn’t make sense to pay a solicitor to spend hours researching before confirming whether or not you even have a case. Ideally you need a solicitor that can win your case in the shortest space of time.
A centralised resource is needed to help businesses to make an informed choice
Choosing the right solicitor can be the difference between success and failure. Whether you are successful in a claim for compensation or not, an expert can save you money and time.
To date, finding this information has been difficult, if not impossible. What is needed is a centralised resource that allows individuals and businesses to search for relevant solicitors with proven experience in specific cases.