If you need a solicitor, there are a number of things to consider to ensure you choose the right one for your specific case. Below is a short guide to choosing a solicitor.
It is essential to find a solicitor with expertise and experience that relates to your claim. The Law Society is a good source of information on solicitors worldwide and you can search by area of law for ease of access.
Rather than relying on professional recommendations that may be revenue-based, you might also consider asking a friend or relative for their experience with solicitors as well.
Once you have narrowed down your search, make enquiries regarding a potential solicitor's past record. When was the last time they took on a case similar to yours? Was it successful?
It's important to compare estimated legal costs for solicitors in order that you get your money's worth. Just make sure to compare on a like-for-like basis; obviously magic circle representation will be more costly than your local one-man show, but the level of service is likely to be much higher.
Solicitors charge either hourly, by fixed rate, or on a no win, no fee basis. Decide which is the most financially viable for you and choose accordingly.
In some cases you may be able to enter into a conditional or contingency fee agreement with a solicitor. This means essentially that the solicitor agrees that if the case does not succeed, he or she will not be paid.
If you lose the case, however, you may have to pay the legal fees of the other party. You will normally be required to take out insurance to cover these costs in the event of a loss, so don't expect to go to court without spending a penny.
It's advisable to do some thorough research before deciding upon your chosen solicitor. Make sure to bring all necessary documentation to a meeting, as well as preparing a few questions to ask.
If you experience a poor level of service on your first encounter with a law firm or solicitor, or the staff are unfriendly or unable to answer your queries, it is likely that such treatment will continue for you as a client.
Code of conduct
All solicitors are subject to a code of conduct relating to their business practices. For example, it is illegal for a solicitor to discriminate against you because of your age, gender, race, sexuality or religion.
Finding the right solicitor can be a stab in the dark for the layperson. But this guide will hopefully give you a few pointers and aspects to consider further. The right legal representation can really make a difference, no matter how clear-cut your case may seem, so make sure to take the time to conduct thorough research and make the right choice.