I can hear the lawyer jokes already! 😝 Save them! I've heard them all before!! But seriously though - How can you tell if your lawyer is any good? I speak from my experience of 17 yrs in practice as a Solicitor AND as a Client (both as an individual and as In-House Counsel instructing lawyers around the world). Here are a few signs .....
1. They understand your business and are commercial in their outlook
A good lawyer knows to ask lots of questions, listen to the answer and learn about your business (the good and bad bits)! The best lawyers do their best to help you make money and are willing to help you find a way to do business rather than just throwing up hurdles for why you can't.
2. You can get through to them on the phone!
Too many clients find it impossible to get through to their lawyer having instead to fight past receptionists and underlings to get through to the person who's handling their file. Choose a lawyer who provides some direct contact details and returns your calls!
3. They give good estimates for how much something is going to cost
An experienced lawyer will know approximately how long a piece of work is going to take. Given every case turns on their facts they should have given you some sort of indicator or estimate. They will stick to their estimates and not go over them without telling you why beforehand!
4. They are honest and realistic about any issues you may face in your matter
True. Like a good friend - they'll tell you the stuff you don't want to hear too.....
5. They are timely with their work
They deliver work within the estimated time period and keep you updated on progress.
Bear in mind that ultimately, you will always be working with a key individual in a firm - so apply these rules to the lawyer that you will be working with and don't get swayed by how fantastic the marketing of the law firm!
Remember to consider the Sole Practitioners and small firms - Good things often come in small packages - guaranteed personal service!
*You must ensure that you do your due diligence on any lawyer you choose to use. Whilst I've come across the odd good non-regulated lawyers I will always suggest you use a SOLICITOR because they are heavily insured and you can complain to the Regulator and the Legal Ombudsman if you have a problem. Check out their registered credentials via the official Roll of Solicitors at the Law Society at http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/
I like to think that I give great client service (check my testimonials on Linked In) and believe that I fulfil my own criteria of a great lawyer! Contact me by email / telephone if you have a business legal need - firstname.lastname@example.org and 020 8263 6063
PS. If, like in the picture above, your lawyer has an incredibly sunny smile.... either they really do like you or you need to check your bill! 😂 See I can do lawyer jokes too!