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How Do I Choose A Good Solicitor?

#1
I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer!

Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor?

■ Do your research
Understand the difference between a Solicitor who is professionally qualified and is a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and say a legal consultant, a lawyer and a legal adviser who are not qualified. Ask the person you see “are you a qualified practicing Solicitor” if they say no, then they are not legally qualified. They will not say they are a Solicitor if they are not one – to say that is a criminal offence. I will write more about the differences between Solicitors and other types of “lawyer” in another article soon.

■ Look at the firm itself
Look at the firm's website. How many lawyers do they have? A big firm means you have back-up available; a small firm means you'll probably get the personal touch. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the firm, the bigger the fees will be, but that is not always the case. Their website may say that they are specialists in for example family law and conveyancing. If you are instructing them on a personal injury matter they may not be the best firm to tackle your case for you. BEWARE – a qualified Solicitor can legally say he is an expert in any area of law he wants, so ask him or her how many cases they have dealt with in the past dealing with your particular issues. Don’t bother asking how many cases they have won though, trust me, that won’t get you any further forward.

■ Be specific on costs
Ask how much they charge for the Solicitor who will handle your case. Just like the Forces have ranks, so do the legal profession. A buck private (junior Solicitor) will be a lot cheaper than a Colonel (a Partner level Solicitor). Make sure that you get the right level of Solicitor, you don’t want a junior Solicitor dealing with a complex case, but neither do you want a Partner dealing with a simple case. You may wish to save costs, but don’t forget - experience counts, and “you get what you pay for"....most of the time!

■ Ask for a short free meeting
I you don’t ask – you don’t get. So be up front and ask if they do free first meetings. If they don’t do a full free first meeting, then ask if they will do the first meeting at a discounted rate. If you push hard enough, they will often agree. If they don’t, you could always go to another firm and try your luck there.

■ Pick a lawyer who sees the bigger picture
You need someone who is emotionally level; an aggressive Solicitor who says he can “kick ass” may sound good in the office but they could cost you money. Being too soft as a lawyer is never a good sign as you may not be able to get your point across but a Solicitor who is too aggressive may not listen to reason and not settle cases when they should be settled.

■ Finally, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it
If the Solicitor you have spoken to does not “feel right” or he does not seem to be giving you full advice or keeping you informed as to what the heck is going on – then don’t use him. If you are already with a Solicitor and they are doing this, then change your Solicitor! You can change your Solicitor at any stage of your case; it's not a huge problem. Your new Solicitor can organise the transfer so you don't even have to tell the ex-solicitor yourself if you don't want to. Remember, that as a paying client, “the client is king”.
 
#2
JudgeDredd said:
I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer!

Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor?
Seriously though, they are all money grabbing ambulance chasing scum who actually do deserve slow and painful deaths............... :evil:
 
#4
Yellow pages, phone calls, identify their speciality then bomb round a number of them on free 30 minute sessions, once you have seen your options pick one
 
#5
I usually check their headstones...

It's a bit late by then but you knew they were good. Any deed yin who admits to being a Solicitor on their headstone (minus graffitti - it's not always in italian you know) must've been good or worked on behalf of crims.

You pays yer money.... You takes yer chance...

I have murderers, counter-feeters (sold Nike trainer copies), swindlers etc in my family and all have been serving time since I was a Nipper.

Uncle Bert who was a Solicitor and outwitted Pierrepoint is never mentioned.....
 
#6
Biscuits_AB said:
What about Barrack Room Lawyers like yourself?
Like most barrack room lawyers my services are Pro bono dear chap, unlike the majority of the learned money grabbing bandits who use the law to make a profit.................. :wink:
 
#7
If you're looking for a criminal lawyer to defend you ask a copper which solicitor gets the most up their nose. He'll be the one that'll get you off.
 
#8
I didnt want to appear as though I was looking for business as I am genuinely trying to help you guys.

I am a qualified Solicitor and have been practicing as a qualifed Solicitor for 12 or so years.

I am also ex 289 Commando Battery R.A. (v).

So barrack room I ain't

Sorry, you will have to whinge elsewhere.
 
#9
TheBigUn said:
JudgeDredd said:
I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer!

Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor?
Seriously though, they are all money grabbing ambulance chasing scum who actually do deserve slow and painful deaths............... :evil:
For the record I dont undertake personal injury work, and I hope to high heaven that you never get injured either in a civilian or miliatry context, because it will be a Solicitor not unlike me that will take on the authorities to try and get you a fair compensation.

Who do you think forces the law to be changed to provide better services and facilities for you guys who do a tremendous job.
 
#10
JudgeDredd said:
I didnt want to appear as though I was looking for business as I am genuinely trying to help you guys.

I am a qualified Solicitor and have been practicing as a qualifed Solicitor for 12 or so years.

I am also ex 289 Commando Battery R.A. (v).

So barrack room I ain't

Sorry, you will have to whinge elsewhere.
Then why on earth did you not start with

"I am an ex Commando Gunner who has been a qualified solicitor for 12 years. I know that from time-to-time some of you may need the services of a solicitor for a number of reasons from making a will, divorce, house purchase or some of you may be in trouble.
I thought it might be a good idea to write a few short articles about the various types of legal workers from paralegals through solicitors to barristers and Queen's Counsel and even on to the judiciary." or some such thing?

My invoice is in the post
 
#11
Markintime said:
JudgeDredd said:
I didnt want to appear as though I was looking for business as I am genuinely trying to help you guys.

I am a qualified Solicitor and have been practicing as a qualifed Solicitor for 12 or so years.

I am also ex 289 Commando Battery R.A. (v).

So barrack room I ain't

Sorry, you will have to whinge elsewhere.
Then why on earth did you not start with

"I am an ex Commando Gunner who has been a qualified solicitor for 12 years. I know that from time-to-time some of you may need the services of a solicitor for a number of reasons from making a will, divorce, house purchase or some of you may be in trouble.
I thought it might be a good idea to write a few short articles about the various types of legal workers from paralegals through solicitors to barristers and Queen's Counsel and even on to the judiciary." or some such thing?

My invoice is in the post
I came online to help and not to look for work.

There are some of us civilians who still give a s**t about right and wrong and who don't like the way our amred forces are often left to the dogs.

I will take your advice though and in future end my information posts with
"Solicitor and ex 289 cdo gunner" ..does that meet with your approval.

Instead of the invoice, hows about I just buy you a beer?
 
#12
JudgeDredd said:
Markintime said:
JudgeDredd said:
I didnt want to appear as though I was looking for business as I am genuinely trying to help you guys.

I am a qualified Solicitor and have been practicing as a qualifed Solicitor for 12 or so years.

I am also ex 289 Commando Battery R.A. (v).

So barrack room I ain't

Sorry, you will have to whinge elsewhere.
Then why on earth did you not start with

"I am an ex Commando Gunner who has been a qualified solicitor for 12 years. I know that from time-to-time some of you may need the services of a solicitor for a number of reasons from making a will, divorce, house purchase or some of you may be in trouble.
I thought it might be a good idea to write a few short articles about the various types of legal workers from paralegals through solicitors to barristers and Queen's Counsel and even on to the judiciary." or some such thing?

My invoice is in the post
I came online to help and not to look for work.

There are some of us civilians who still give a s**t about right and wrong and who don't like the way our amred forces are often left to the dogs.

I will take your advice though and in future end my information posts with
"Solicitor and ex 289 cdo gunner" ..does that meet with your approval.

Instead of the invoice, hows about I just buy you a beer?
Now you're talking
 
#13
No-one here has mentioned word of mouth yet.

Yes, you should do all your research, but also ask around. For instance, there are many people who post on this site who have had the problems that you might now have (or may have in the future). Its not just personal injury, its divorce, employment, crime to name but a few. Ask your mates, your mess members, your on-line community.

You will get people who have had the same experience as you saying "Do use x, they did a brilliant job for me" or "don't use y, they were a bunch of cnuts". That sort of input is invaluable.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#15
JudgeDredd said:
TheBigUn said:
JudgeDredd said:
I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer!

Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor?
Seriously though, they are all money grabbing ambulance chasing scum who actually do deserve slow and painful deaths............... :evil:
For the record I dont undertake personal injury work, and I hope to high heaven that you never get injured either in a civilian or miliatry context, because it will be a Solicitor not unlike me that will take on the authorities to try and get you a fair compensation.

Who do you think forces the law to be changed to provide better services and facilities for you guys who do a tremendous job.
Barristers?
 
#16
Biscuits_AB said:
JudgeDredd said:
TheBigUn said:
JudgeDredd said:
I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer!

Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor?
Seriously though, they are all money grabbing ambulance chasing scum who actually do deserve slow and painful deaths............... :evil:
For the record I dont undertake personal injury work, and I hope to high heaven that you never get injured either in a civilian or miliatry context, because it will be a Solicitor not unlike me that will take on the authorities to try and get you a fair compensation.

Who do you think forces the law to be changed to provide better services and facilities for you guys who do a tremendous job.
Barristers?
Pedant ;)
 
#17
I listend to "Law in Action" on Radio 4 a while ago and they had these "great QCs" on, most of whom had become judges (and I know a barrister ain't a solicitor). Clive Anderson (himself a barrister) says, "So what explains your extraordinary success?" They all said, "The cases decide themselves. What happens is if you are lucky early on a few times in a row people employ you and you get the chance to build a practice".

I know a lot of lawyers and I would say sobriety, formality, precision, experience in the particular area, honesty, a willingness to tell people they don't have a case/are in the wrong...these are important. I think a lot of people would be terrified if they knew just how little time a working lawyer can afford to put into your case. If you have a decent education a good lawyer is one prepared to make use of your research and input - read the up to date cases yourself, fillet them for useful points, give the lawyer photocopies marked up early........for a summary matter you'll be lucky if they put two hours into preparation.
 
#18
That would be the two hours that they can bill for, that doesn't include that hours that they can not bill for.

Judge Dredd, while I can appreciate the need for a sub forum to cover some questions that arise from time to time on legal matters, I am not sure that this could not be construed as developing a solicitor/client relationship especially where some of the ARRSE users may proceed on some advice they perceive to be correct for their circumstances. What if it goes wrong? Are you and any of the lawyers that post on here willing to put your O&E insurance up just in case the user may want to sue you for negligence?

I see this forum more as a place to discuss current legal decisions that affect both the military personnel and civilians who use this site. I do not see how the forum could be used for answering legal questions that someone might have without running the risk of developing a solicitor/client relationship and struggling with confidentiality. Even though the COs have set down some rules, I can't see how it's not going to occur in PM world.

I also see that this may be opening the COs to a liability they may not want to incur.

Of course, people shouldn't seek advice from an internet site but the reality is, people do and I just don't see enough stops and measures on this forum to make sure that the site itself doesn't incur a liability. The fact is, there is now a forum called LAW and so far it's taking the shape of becoming an legal agony aunt format.

Posting a few how to find a solicitor is in and of itself going to cause issues especially if it appears that you are the only one who fits that description. Tread carefully my learned friend.

I'm going to suggest to the COs that they put this forum on hold until it can be sorted out what its intent and purpose is going to be. Being a basis for legal advice is going to attract liabilities abound. The COs have put up a health warning but it may not be enough.

It also runs the risk for those who are not licenced to practice law and who are offering up legal opinion and advice, a possibility of being deemed to be in a position of unauthorised practice of law. Not a good place to be.
 
#19
Why not just beef up the disclaimer in the sticky, along the lines found here for instance?

Or for those who wish to provide advice, a disclaimer footnote in each post? That should be enough to prevent anything nasty cropping up.

Anytime I give gratis advice I always round off with a cheery "this does not constitute legal advice and you should always consult your own solicitor".

A claim based on advice gleaned from an anonymous poster on a free to the public website is unlikely to find much traction in court, I'd suggest. But if you can point me at any cases on point I'd be very interested.
 
#20
niner_domestic said:
That would be the two hours that they can bill for, that doesn't include that hours that they can not bill for.

Judge Dredd, while I can appreciate the need for a sub forum to cover some questions that arise from time to time on legal matters, I am not sure that this could not be construed as developing a solicitor/client relationship especially where some of the ARRSE users may proceed on some advice they perceive to be correct for their circumstances. What if it goes wrong? Are you and any of the lawyers that post on here willing to put your O&E insurance up just in case the user may want to sue you for negligence?

I see this forum more as a place to discuss current legal decisions that affect both the military personnel and civilians who use this site. I do not see how the forum could be used for answering legal questions that someone might have without running the risk of developing a solicitor/client relationship and struggling with confidentiality. Even though the COs have set down some rules, I can't see how it's not going to occur in PM world.

I also see that this may be opening the COs to a liability they may not want to incur.

Of course, people shouldn't seek advice from an internet site but the reality is, people do and I just don't see enough stops and measures on this forum to make sure that the site itself doesn't incur a liability. The fact is, there is now a forum called LAW and so far it's taking the shape of becoming an legal agony aunt format.

Posting a few how to find a solicitor is in and of itself going to cause issues especially if it appears that you are the only one who fits that description. Tread carefully my learned friend.

I'm going to suggest to the COs that they put this forum on hold until it can be sorted out what its intent and purpose is going to be. Being a basis for legal advice is going to attract liabilities abound. The COs have put up a health warning but it may not be enough.

It also runs the risk for those who are not licenced to practice law and who are offering up legal opinion and advice, a possibility of being deemed to be in a position of unauthorised practice of law. Not a good place to be.
It is a simple fact of life that people will always listen to advice that suits them and not actually relate it to their own circumstances. In my posts even where I have just given guidance on simple procedures I have stated that people should ask for independent legal advise as each case differs.

Your point is exactly what is wrong with today's society, and yes I say this even though I spend my days working in a law firm, England is far too attached to the idea that "where’s there's blame, there's a claim".

I could quite happily say "well I know the answer to your question but if you want to discuss it with me then you will have to ring my firms free phone number, give your name, address and telephone numbers and a brief explanation of your problems and I'll tell" , thus avoiding the solicitor/client relationship that you refer to. There is also such a thing as a retainer my learned friend.

I do understand the point that you are making but you will find that there are literally hundreds of sites on the net where people post legal problems and get replies from joe public. The only way to avoid such a problem is by the person offering the advise clearly states after each comment they make that the person asking should seek independent advise also.

If you wanted to go even further, what about people who offer their story too. What happens about people who rely on their advise? You see, it really is a never ending circle.

Your right to be cautious but there is only so much a person can do in respect of damage limitation.
 

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