The days of solicitors being stuck in an office are being confined to history. In the modern times we live it’s becoming more convenient to teleconference over the internet and work online for solicitors and their clients then stroll up the high street to the firm’s offices.
Solicitors are everywhere, with many found on the outskirts of towns while others establish themselves on the high street or at the centre of major cities. Everyone seems to know a solicitor, or know someone who knows one. However, good solicitors can be hard to find, which is why searching for reputable lawyers online, in the telephone directory or on the recommendation of others can be a challenge.
The reputation is very important and is key to winning new business. Lawyers receive plenty of business via word-of-mouth advertising, so it usually pays for them to conduct their activities in a way that is likely to impress others. Of course, finding a reputable firm of lawyers online such as Dutton Gregory can be difficult if little or nothing is known about the industry. How can an individual distinguish one group of solicitors from another? Consider the following tips:
- Search for lawyers online (e.g., ‘Dutton Gregory’) using the Law Society website
- A typical search reveals plenty of information about a solicitor or law firm, so study the information carefully
- A search reveals how many offices belong to a firm, how many solicitors it employs and other useful details, such as areas of law, languages and accreditation schemes
- When a list of solicitors or law firms has been established, use Google to check for client feedback
- Prospective clients ought to search for ‘horror stories’ associated with each law firm or lawyer
- An effort should be made to find information about law firms on independent sites
Finding lawyers on the Internet is not all about establishing whether a particular firm can be trusted. Most solicitors in England and Wales are competent, effective and trustworthy. They have to be to pass the rigorous standards set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which aims to protect consumers by regulating the education, training and behavior of solicitors, but finding the right solicitor to deal with an issue can mean looking for more specific skills and qualities.
As noted above, the Law Society website can be used to search for lawyers online. Although results do not describe the standing or reputation of solicitors, they do outline their specific areas of interest or skill. Dutton Gregory, for example, specialises in no fewer than 28 areas of the law, including business affairs, charity law, civil litigation, commercial property, construction and civil engineering, corporate finance, employment law, family law, licensing law, mergers and acquisitions, personal injury, planning law and professional negligence. Identifying these specific areas of interest can help prospective litigants establish whether certain law firms are right for them.
Tom Brown is a retired solicitor who spent two decades at an international practice, working in the UK, USA and Hong Kong. Tom believes that searching for lawyers online is the most sensible way to prepare for the legal process, especially if litigants are able to find a law firm such as Dutton Gregory.