We've just been given a glowing testimonial by a client we've really loved working with:
"Most members of the public including me (even though I was a Police Officer) find dealing with any legal issues a stressful situation. I found the Greycoat Law team to be a breath of fresh air, constantly in touch about the case and providing guidance and advice which was not only through, but well structured, clear and concise. Isabelle and Gerry are extremely experienced and talented barristers and I have already recommended them to the security Industry.
Greycoat Law's Admin. and HQ Teams that constantly update the clients are “the best thing since sliced bread...”
Tony Clarke of Absolute Security (London) Ltd. t/a The UKSF
Tony was very fortunate to have been recommended to us by another happy client of ours. But how do people who are in the market for a lawyer, but don't know any, actually find a good one?
There are SO many people offering legal services (or the equivalent) out there - direct access barristers, solicitors, McKenzie Friends - the list is never-ending! And they all seem to charge different rates. As one client said to us, "I want to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges, but I can't! Why do fees vary so much if they're all offering the same thing?" Well, they aren't.
We aren't going to attempt to explain the differences between the types of professional who can manage your case. We aren't even going to try to explain how fees are worked out. What we are going to do is list 3 of the things we think you should be looking for when you decide on who you're going to trust with your legal work.
This is an important word. So many of our clients use this word when they book with us. "We instantly knew we could trust you to..." is a refrain we hear often. Go with your gut instinct. Do you feel that the person who'll be conducting your case is someone who you can trust to take it over so that you don't have to worry (much) any more? Can you trust them to manage your case so that you don't have to? Will they strike a balance between seeking your input on big issues and getting on with the day-to-day running of your case? Will they take the stress out of your situation or will they add to it? Do they convey to you the confidence that they know what they're doing? Are they set up in a way that they can effectively manage your case administratively? Do you get the sense from them that your work will always be their priority, even if you're not a 'major' client?
Did you find it easy to get hold of someone to discuss your needs as a new enquirer? Did they return your call or message promptly? Did they take the time to answer your questions and address your real needs? Did they figure out that many of your concerns are not purely legal, but could be financial or emotional too? Have you had feedback from former clients of theirs who can confirm that you will always get an swift response to your queries? Will you be able to contact someone who knows about your case outside of the standard 9am-5pm? We know that our clients work flexibly and that normal life simply doesn't fit within office hours. We also know that, most of the time, if clients receive regular updates on their case (even if they haven't asked for them) , they feel reassured that their work is in safe hands. Constant communication with clients is a 'must' in today's world - you should settle for nothing less!
A lot of our clients have had legal teams before and end up coming to us for a range of reasons, including dissatisfaction with the service they've had previously. They often complain to us that they've had to 'nag' their lawyer to get work done. They've had to remind their lawyer of deadlines. They've felt the need to check whether their lawyer has read papers that they've sent in. As one client said to us of their former team, "Why should I pay someone to be my lawyer when I have to do most of the work for them?" And it isn't just about the work that you know needs to be done. No one wants to be 'pushing' their lawyer to get that stuff done. But what about the interventions your lawyer could make to progress your case that you, as a layperson, know absolutely nothing about? What about the foresight they could exercise to prevent something from happening that would take your case backwards. Every lawyer on our team has 20 years' experience or more. And they have to have had worked or had experience outside of the traditional 'barrister-in-Chambers' path. In this way, we not only provide the legal expertise that should be a 'given', but we also add value through the input of our years of experience and strategic thinking that can make or break a case for a client.
We hope that this has helped you to identify how you can make a decision about who your next lawyer is going to be. But we suspect that you knew all of this anyway. Your sense of 'I can really work with this person or team,' is the thing to follow.
After all...the client always knows best!