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Solicitors: 5 top tips on picking the right one

View profile for Susan Howarth
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The good times and the bad times

Life is a funny old business, full of ups and downs and with many a curveball thrown in when you least expect it.

You might be planning your wedding, buying your dream home or making a will to provide for your children. Or you may be experiencing family problems, struggling to see your kids, dealing with the death of a loved one or applying to the Court of Protection for an elderly relative who has lost mental capacity.

In all these scenarios, good or bad, you want the right people on your side, fighting your corner with your best interests at heart.

But if you’ve not had to use a solicitor before, or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience, how do you decide which one to act for you?


Choice not chance

Take some time to do your research and be prepared – follow our 5 Top Tips to help you make an educated choice rather than leaving it to chance:

  1. Ask a friend!

Think about it – if we’ve enjoyed a delicious meal, stayed at a hotel with impeccable service or used an estate agent who kept in regular contact and negotiated hard on our behalf, we do like to tell folks! Likewise, if we’ve had a bad experience, we tell the world and his dog!

Talk to family and friends, ask them which solicitors they’ve used, whether they were good or bad and why.

  1. Online reviews

Another form of honest feedback, online reviews give you an insight to previous clients’ experiences – spend a little time on those search engines and check out online reviews on Google Business pages, Facebook and specialist sites like Reviews Solicitors.

  1. Testimonials

Although testimonials tend to be positive more often than not, they’re still worth a read as they often provide a more detailed insight into a client’s experience, helping you identify key factors that may or may not be important to you to during the process. Company websites are a good starting point for testimonials.

  1. Accreditations

Look into which accreditations the law firms have and what they can tell you about the practice and people. Are they recognised in any legal directories in acknowledgement of their legal expertise and experience? Have they gained accreditations for process, compliance, costs, communication, management and client care? This key information gives you an idea of the firm’s professionalism and standards.

  1. Try before you buy

Can you ‘sample the services’ e.g. does the practice offer anything for free so you can get a feel for the people and the place? Think legal clinics, free initial appointments or any collaborative opportunities there might be through third parties. This not only gives you the chance to gather some initial advice on your particular issue but also enables you to meet the people – do they listen carefully and ask the right questions, are they understanding/sympathetic/compassionate, do you leave your appointment feeling reassured, informed and with an idea of your ‘next steps’?


Appoint with confidence

At SH&Co. we think it’s important for you to feel confident choosing us.

Acknowledged as a ‘Recognised Practitioner for our family law expertise’ by the Chambers & Partners directory, we are also a Legal 500 leading law firm, with Susan Howarth recognised as a Leading Individual.

All members of our Family Law team are members of Resolution, with Susan Howarth a member of the Law Society’s Family Scheme; Victoria Poole a Resolution-trained Mediator, a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Domestic Violence and Children Law (private) and an FMC Accredited Family Mediator (all issues); Stephen Jones a member of the Law Society’s Children’s Scheme and Resolution National Children’s Committee; Jeanette Birch a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Scheme and Resolution National Children’s Committee; Emma Stride a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and of the Law Society’s Private Client Section and the firm being WIQS, CQS and Lexcel accredited.

Qualifications aside, why not come and meet us in person? We offer seven FREE weekly in-house drop-in legal clinics, a FREE 30-minute appointment for all new Family Law clients and a FREE weekly drop-in legal clinic at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

At SH&Co., your life is our business.

We care about you, your life and your family, and we’re here to help.

For any specific information or to make an appointment with one of our lawyers, please contact the office on 01606 48777.