How To Choose A Good Solicitor

I've recently had cause to find a solicitor and if I am honest I didn't really know where to start. Unfortunately people generally need to seek legal assistance in sad or difficult times when they are probably at their least effective.

Deaths, divorces, accidents and criminal acts all require help from someone legally trained and although there are many DIY house selling sites now I personally wouldn't want to add the stress of handling a sale along with packing and sorting utilities etc, especially if there was any kind of chain involved.

In fact even when I was a first time buyer, buying a new build home I had to ask my conveyancing solicitor to intervene for me over a minor land dispute including a right of way behind my house. I could not have handled it myself.

Often you need to source a solicitor quickly. I'm sure there are people who have one on hand but most of us live lives where we maybe only deal with the legal profession for probate, divorce or house moves. So how do you find a good solicitor?

Firstly, my top tip would be to anticipate events and find someone at your leisure. If you have elderly relatives, are considering relocating or feel your relationship is in it's end game take time now to research solicitors.

Most good firms offer specialists in all aspects of law. Although a conveyancing lawyer might be a whizz at hustling your house move along they might not be the right person for a messy divorce. Meanwhile a probate expert could save you thousands but would prosily not be the best choice if you need representation in court for a criminal or civil hearing.

Look online to find lawyers in your area. Read the reviews and take a good look around their website. Bear in mind however that reviews online are not always entirely reliable and may only tell some of the story.

It might make sense to look local but a good firm will be able to handle your request remotely, especially in these days of electronic communication. If you have specific needs, it's worth looking at solicitors offering specific services.

For instance if you look at the website for the award winning  AWH Solicitors Manchester you will see they offer a myriad of services from immigration to industrial diseases. Their range of medical negligence services alone is a long one offering help with care home abuse and pregnancy/birth negligence claims and their services are available to people across the UK not just in the Manchester area.

Ask friends and family about their experiences and recommendations. If someone has been happy with the way their probate has been handled by one solicitor it might be worth investigating that firm. Be aware however that each case is different and their simple probate experience might be very different to a more complex case.

Call and chat.  You are likely to be spending quite a bit of time and money dealing with your solicitor so call them or book a call-back online and have a chat with them. They may even offer a few nuggets of initial advice free and you will certainly get a feel for their personality and be in a better position to decide if you will be comfortable working with them.

Ask for a quote. It's absolutely fine to ask for a quote, especially if it's something like probate which generally they can estimate given previous experience. They should quote you an hourly rate and an estimated complete price for the whole task. If you think you might struggle to pay, ask for advice as legal aid may be available for some cases.

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