As UK life becomes increasingly litigious, more Brits must rely on the services of solicitors to smooth out life’s legal issues. But it can be tough to find a firm or individual who really fits the mould in terms of reputation, price and reliability. Here are five tips for choosing the right local solicitor in competitive environment.

1. Word of mouth

The Holy Grail of free advertising, word of mouth recommendation from a trusted source can be a great way to find a reputable solicitor. For someone looking a good family solicitors, for example, the odds are good they’ll be able to find one by word of mouth.

2. Avoid third party recommendations

Unless they’re a friend or acquaintance, avoid third party recommendations. Many are fuelled by cash from solicitors or marketing companies with the express aim of driving more and more clients to the solicitor firm. Mutual marketing often occurs between solicitors and other companies, e.g. a car repair garage recommending a certain specialist traffic law solicitors. It’s not necessarily a scam – both companies could be exceptional – but the way the information is presented is not concurrent with clients finding the right solicitors for their needs. Stick to first and second party recommendations from family, friends and acquaintances.

3. Look for specialists

Finding a specialist can be a great way of making sure a solicitor has the specific knowledge and skill set to help with the legal issues faced by their clients. The clients of local solicitors often go back to them for all needs simply because of habit. But it can pay to scout for a recommended specialist in some cases, especially very involved subjects like family law.

4. Avoid unclear pricing

Local solicitors tend to deal with smaller, lower fee cases than their city counterparts. Avoid firms that can’t offer a concrete quote including things like how the billing system works should the case drag on or require further services.

Approaching a number of firms and comparing quotes is a great way to assess which suits a particular case. Location can affect price. For example, a legal firm in an affluent local area may charge more for the same service a less affluent local solicitor can offer. Compare quotes and remember to ask about up-front fees and add-ons.

5. Ask a lot of questions

A good solicitor will not be thrown by a barrage of questions about time frames, pricing law and procedure. It’s essential to feel that the team or individual has a good knowledge base to work from and competent work ethic. For example, have they worked on similar cases all their career or are they recent to this speciality?

Sourcing a reliable, sensible, competent legal team or individual is about using trusted sources and verifiable information.

Libby Carins specialises in local and small business marketing. She has written for various local infrastructure websites, using Parmar Solicitors as one of many sources.

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