Dealing with a problem that requires legal help can be stressful enough, but sometimes finding the right help can be stressful too. If your problem is particularly sensitive, you might even be worried about seeking legal advice and help. However, you need to remember that a solicitor will be on your side to help you resolve a matter, and their help is often the only way of dealing with a problem. The most important thing to remember is they must be the right one. So read on for a quick guide to choosing the best solicitor for your case.
You should never have to pay any money upfront as most solicitors provide a free initial consultation so take advantage of the free initial consultation to find the solicitor you feel is best able to help you. Check that who you’re talking to will be the person working on your case, and be honest and upfront about your problem with as much detail as possible in the time you have.
Ask for detailed information about their charges and make sure they will inform you if the cost starts to run over what you have initially agreed. You should also be clear about when you have to pay and what exactly you’re paying for. If money is an issue then remember that a legal aid solicitor can help you with the cost of fees.
First and foremost, make sure your solicitor is regulated. All practicing solicitors should be a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). If in doubt, you can always contact the SRA to check that they definitely are. You can also check to see if they are a member of Lexcel. Lexcel accreditation is awarded only to solicitors such as http://www.abels-solicitors.co.uk/ who meet the minimum good practice standards established by Lexcel. As such, Lexcel membership is normally an indicator of quality.
Legal Aid and Cost
Legal aid exists to cover the costs of certain legal problems for anyone earning below £2,657 gross per month, dependent also on how much of that income is spare and what capital you have. If you’re on benefits then eligibility for legal aid is automatic. To apply for legal aid, you will need to find a legal aid solicitor who will give you the relevant forms to fill in, and work out how much you may be entitled to.
It’s often a good idea to choose a solicitor who specialises in your particular problem because they will have a far wider knowledge of the law in your case. For example, if you have a boundary dispute problem a family law solicitor is unlikely to be of as much help to you as a solicitor experienced in property. Many firms have a number of specialists covering differing areas, so you can always check to see their areas of specialism. You should also bear in mind that you may need a solicitor with good local knowledge, especially in the case of conveyance or other property matters.
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By Harry Price
Harry Price is a freelance writer and personal trainer. He enjoys taking strolls along the beachfront with his dogs on the south coast of England.