Choosing a solicitor – recommendation remains key

How would you choose a solicitor if you needed one? Word of mouth, Google, local news? Most solicitors rely on recommendations, so it was refreshing to see that 90% of consumers, in a recent survey, are happy with the outcome after using legal services.

The Legal Services Consumer Panel tracker survey published this week, polled people who have used legal services during the past two years, submitting questions to more than 3,000 people.

Most consumers say the overall service and advice provided was good value for money.

It also showed that people are using online services now more than ever before. Figures have more than doubled from 21% in 2012 to 44% in 2021. The recent increase is in part due to the pandemic which accelerated the move to online, with 54% of consumers using online services during the pandemic.

Like many businesses we have embraced the use of online facilities over the past year, regularly using online platforms for meetings and continued professional development. At the start of the pandemic, we signed up to an online system provided by the courts which allowed claims to be issued during lockdown. We also attend regular APIL webinars and this year’s Justice Week was also held online.

Online services are needed within the industry, and we hope the move to digital during the past year signals the start of a digital platform for all cases.

Sarah Chambers, Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, said: “The Consumer Panel is happy to see that legal services providers were able to react to the pandemic by substantially increasing their offer of online services.

“Going forward, we encourage regulators to support providers in continuing to be creative in how they deliver their services, taking the needs of all their customers into account.

“While shopping around has increased over the last ten years, past experience or personal recommendations have remained the most popular ways to choose service providers, highlighting the importance of providing every client with a high quality service.

“Providers and regulators must now work harder to develop objective indicators of quality to empower clients with the information they need.”

The survey panel said it was ‘disappointing’ that some consumers still rely on ‘gut feeling’ when choosing a law firm, but reputation remains the most important factor in choosing a provider. Its importance has increased from 73% in 2012 to 80% in 2021.

Reputation is one of the most significant factors for us and we take on many clients through recommendations and word of mouth. Many go on to leave an excellent review on Google which greater enforces our reputation as a reputable practice.

When choosing a solicitor, we would always advise clients to ask for recommendations. Our blog ‘How to choose a personal injury solicitor’ covers the topic in more depth.

We recommend the following steps when choosing a solicitor:

  1. Ask for recommendations
  2. Research solicitors which specialise in the field you require
  3. Look at experience – testimonials, reviews, social media
  4. Check you are dealing with a qualified solicitor regulated by the SRA
  5. Ask about fees
  6. Book a consultation, initial ones are usually free

If you have pursued a claim through a solicitor and were unhappy with the outcome there are options too. People tend to assume that once their claim is settled it is too late to reopen it. This is not necessarily true, and we can act on your behalf to recover what you properly deserve. We will take the necessary steps to obtain your previous solicitor’s file and can advise as to whether you have a claim.

If you would like further information on any of the issues covered contact us for a FREE no-obligation consultation. All queries will be answered by a solicitor.

Call – 03330 112732

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How to choose a personal injury solicitor