The best way to choose a solicitor is always by personal recommendation, but you may not know anyone who has recently been through a divorce, or you may have several recommendations and cannot choose between them – where do you start?
These days you can obtain a lot of information about solicitors from their online presence – their firm’s websites, their Linkedin Profiles etc. You should look at the length and breadth of their experience, areas of specialisation, professional memberships, whether they are also trained mediators and/or collaborative lawyers and their general “style”.
Always check to see whether a solicitor is a member of Resolution – the leading organisation of family lawyers in England and Wales. If they are this indicates that they have considerable experience in family law and that they abide by a Code of Practice which promotes a constructive and non-confrontational approach to resolving disputes, designed to maintain the dignity of the parties and to prioritise the needs of any children. Have a look at the Resolution website. It has a large public area which is a great source of up to date information regarding family law – www.resolution.org.uk.
Give your shortlist of solicitors a call. Most solicitors are happy to have an initial chat on the phone and you should be able to gauge whether you are likely to get on with the solicitor during the telephone call.
Beware the free 30 minute consultation. It is impossible for a solicitor to gather all of the relevant information from you and give you well-considered and comprehensive advice in such a short period of time and you will usually just be given some generic information and encouraged to make a further appointment. Cost is always a consideration but bear in mind that you usually get what you pay for in this life. Solicitors usually charge on a time basis. Ask if they offer any fixed fee work. Ask the solicitor’s hourly rate.
If you are considering appointing a family solicitor please contact our Head of Family, Joanna Toloczko at email@example.com for a no obligation chat on the telephone.
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