Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, The SRA...
> Avoid a bad solicitor
September 2012 Update! - Finally Some Good News?
Official (ombudsman) "Name and Shame" now live... Read This
New! Beware List! - Firms by Name - extensive A to Z listing here
Beware List! - Solicitors by Name - extensive (5000+ entries) A to Z listing here
Beware List! - Condensed alpha sorted list by name here
The Law Society Web Site carries many adverts (click here) for "choosing and using a solicitor". What you can't tell from the Law Society is how bad a solicitor is in terms of how many complaints the solicitor or firm has received. We have a situation where the so-called "independent regulator" is promoting firms it knows to be bad along with all the others. They do not tell us which is which. You might be wise to treat such "blanket marketing" with some suspicion?
Of course, it does not matter how good the "new regulators" are... if you are going to choose and use a solicitor it is far better to avoid problems in the first place. There is no guaranteed method for avoiding the bad... but one very good indicator has to be past performance... the following tips may help...
Most of us only use a solicitor occasionally, but when things do go wrong, they can go very wrong indeed. It is well worth investing some time in staying out of trouble.
Choosing and Using a solicitor...
Ask around, friends, family, anyone you trust who doesn't have a vested interest in recommending anyone.
When asking... always ask for FACTS. Lots of folks will say "so and so was ok, good" etc. but this doesn't tell you much. Try and find out what they charged? How long it took? Did it cost more or less than the estimate? What type of work? (expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over to another, and not all partners in a firm are equal).
Create a short list of firms you think may be ok.
Visit each one on the list on the www and see what you think. Find out the names of ALL the partners.
Dig for dirt. Do an internet search on the firm and on each and every partner by name - reject any that have "bad-press" - you really don't need to take the risk that they will do to you what they did to someone else. You may wish to start your digging here
When you have narrowed it down... ask for a free consultation and go and interview them. If you like them get a (free) written estimate. You may also find some free legal advice that way.
Don't be afraid to change your mind... if necessary ... start again... this is probably a BIG decision and the wrong one can leave you severely out of pocket.
Check the dark-lists and protest sites and the name-and-shame sites... a partial (and rather old) list here.
Anyone looking for a family practitioner might do well to check out this link.
Years ago, when I was studying Quality Assurance, I was told that for every customer that complains there is another ten who don't. Past complaints are a very good indicator of problems. If our own survey takes off it should prove a very good source for information - these are folks who have complained again and again - serious complaints...
| The A to Z of Firms page http://www.lcs-test.co.uk/azrall.htm
Main survey results here http://www.lcs-test.co.uk/SurveyF.htm
So... if one in ten complain to the law firm then it's probably more like 1 in 100 that go as far as complaining to the Law Society. For complaints to reach the Legal Services Ombudsman it requires persistent genes and a serious complaint... Our results will tell you the names of the Firms to be wary of and the year of the complaint... well worth checking. For the avoidance of any doubts: The above is NOT a list of "bad solicitors" (nor is it a list of "good solicitors")... PLEASE... just be CAUTIOUS!
Please don't take risks... Good Luck!
There is ANOTHER solicitor ratings site here
solicitor.info - you are the judge
Update 21/12/2011! - From Hell is back...
This site looks like it may be the true child born from Ricks work... check it out!
A little more about Rick / SFH...http://www.solicitors-from-hell.co.uk/ and (from the same author)
A warning about Coyle White Devine Solicitors: http://www.cwd-critic.com/
Until November 2011 Rick ran an excellent public service http://www.solicitorsfromhell.co.uk
The Law Society did not like it and spent a vast sum and some ugly bullying to have it removed from the web.
It seems The Law Society and the High Court believe the British Public is too stupid to tell the difference between a rant and a real complaint.Sadly (for the public) it appears they ALSO believe that it is better to base an important decision on NO information rather than on a LOT of information, some of which may be inaccurate.The head-in-the-sand approach to decision making?
For more than three years the bulk of this page has been automatically updated by a "robot". A simple alpha-sorted list with backlinks to Rick's site provided "at a glance" information only a click away. The last such page was generated on 15th November 2011 and the list had well over 1000 entries.Clearly the public has lost something and the best I can now provide is a condensed static list of what WAS there without the informative links. :-(
Sticking purely to the FACTS...
EVERYONE on the list below had an entry on the Solicitors From Hell website in November 2011.Maybe, in view of the High Court decision and the money lavished on them by the Law Society,
we should now view these as the "Selected Elite"?
I wonder if there is now an unconditional lifetime warranty on these firms? Hmmm... I CANNOT advise - only YOU can decide. You will now have to do a little more leg work but...
Look them up... at the very LEAST (if you decide to use them) it will give you something to talk about when you go and interview them...Pay special attention to the longer lines or the ones flagged RED - these suggest multiple complaints - therefore more questions to ask and more to talk about...
Please don't take risks... Good Luck!
| Below is the list (as at 15th September 2008) from Parents4Protest
Visit them here ... http://www.parents4protest.co.uk/
Do you NEED to take the risk with any of these firms (above or below) for anything?
Alan Brookes, Hooper and Woolen Solicitors, Carlton House, 30 The Terrace, Torquay, Devon TQ1 1BS
Solicitors 389-395 Anlaby Road, Hull
Allerton Kaye Solicitors 7 Southbrook Terrace Bradford BD7 1AB
Alsters Kelley Solicitors, Coventry, Leamington Spa & Nuneaton
Avery Naylor 35/36 Walter Road Swansea SA15NW
Berry and Berry Solicitors, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Maidstone, Kent
Blackwell Solicitors, 10 Cross Street Barnstaple, Devon. EX31 1BA
Blair and Bryden Solicitors Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland
Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors Rougemont House, Rougemont Close, Manor Road, Wiltshire, SP1 1LY0
Bray & Bray Solicitors, Station Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire
Brunton & Co Solicitors 6 Upper Portland Street Aberystwyth, SY23 2DU
Chanter Ferguson Solicitors, 17 The Quay, Bideford, Devon. EX39 2EN
Cheesman and Co Solicitors North Ho/17 North John St, Liverpool, L2 5QY
Coleman's Solicitors 21 Marlow Road Maidenhead Berks SL6 7AA
Cooper Carter Claremont Solicitors 1 North Street, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1DA
Cooper Nimmo Solicitors 237 Church Street Blackpool, Lancashire FY13PB Cooper Nimmo
Cox McQueen Howard Tain Bradford St Walsall
Cox McQueen Howard Tain Brownhills
Darlington & Parkinson Solicitors, 78, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, London West W5 1QX
Davies, Parsons, Allchurch Solicitors 8-10 Queen Victoria Rd, Llanelli Dyfed SA15
Diamonds Solicitors Lincoln House 184 Queens Road Buckhurst Hill Essex IG9 5BD
Elaw Ltd Solicitors division of Mark Saunders and Co Solicitors Gorseinon Swansea West Glamorgan SA4 4AD
Fennemores Solicitors Silbury Boulevard Milton Keynes MK9 1LL
Forbes solicitors 1-3 Farrington Lane, Chorley
G Huw Lewis Solicitors 37 Alfred St Neath SA11 1EN Tel: 01639 637181
Goldstones Solicitors 10 Walter Road, Swansea, West Glam SA1 5NF
Goodwins Family Solicitors 5 Warner House, Harrovian Business Village, Bessbourgh Road, Harrow, HA13EX,
Gosschalks Solicitors Queens gardens, Hull
Hutchinson Thomas Solicitors, Chambers Neath Gnoll Chambers
Humfrys and Symonds solicitors, Saint John's Chambers,1 Stain
Jackson West Solicitors, 3 Trinity Street, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 6BL
James H Tonner Johns &Co Solicitors 48 Walter Rd Swansea Glam SA1 5PW
Jeremy Ferguson, Chanter Ferguson Solicitors, 17 The Quay, Bideford, Devon. EX39 2EN
Lamb Brooks Solicitors Victoria house, 39 Winchester Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire
Mark Christie Yablons Solicitors Forward house 8 duke street, Bradford, BD1 3QX.
Max Barford and Co Solicitors, Family Law 16 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1QU
Miller Sands Solicitors, 75/79 Regent Street Cambridge CB2 1BE
Myer Wolff King Solicitors William House, Market Place Hull
Ogden Lyles & Fox Solicitors ,32 Wellington Road, Eccles, Manchester, Lancashire M30 0NP
Parker Bird Solicitors 24-28 Queen Street Huddersfield West Yorkshire HD1 2SP
Patrick Perusko solicitor, Bedford, Newport Pagnell and Milton Keynes
Peter Williams & Co Solicitors 93 Walter Road Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 5QA
Phillip Hamer Solicitors, 9-11 Scale Lane, Hull
Philippa Pearson Badgers and Badgers Solicitors Family Law in Partnership
Platt and Fishwick Solicitors, The Old Bank, King Street, Wigan, Lancashire, WN1 1DB
Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors 11th Floor The McLaren Building 35 Dale End Birmingham UK B4 7LN
Scott Richards Solicitors, Family Law Scala House, Lawn Terrace, Dawlish, EX7 9HA
Stamp Jackson Proctor Solicitors, 5 Parliment Street, Hull
Stantons Solicitors 118 High Street, Strood, Rochester, Kent, ME2 4TT
Stephenson's Solicitors 26 Union Street, Leigh, Lancashire, WN7 1AT
Tallintire Aileen Solicitors Prince George Sq, South Shields, NE33 2BE
Tanner and Taylor Solicitors of Farnborough, Hants 32 Victoria Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 7NZ
Tanner and Taylor Solicitors, Offices at Aldershot, Farnham, Fleet and Bordon
Thackray Williams Solicitors Kings House 32-40 WIidmore Road, Bromley, Kent KENT BR1 1RY
T. G. Baynes Solicitors Down House 303 High Street, Orpington, Kent BR6 0NJ
T Llewellyn Jones Solicitors Guildhall Chambers 2 Church Place Neath SA11 3LL
Toni Sinclair, See Blackwell Solicitors, 10 Cross Street Barnstaple, Devon. EX31 1BA
Welch & Co Solicitors 40 St Mary St, Cardigan, SA43 1ET
News! Always check the News ... for example ...
A final warning - from a Gentleman and Master of the Web - HERE