Does Your Solicitor Listen To You?
At Forrest Williams we offer all first time callers initial free advice. This is because we know that in order to be able to help you and guide you, we first need to know what is going on.
We will talk to you for as long as is needed to understand your situation enough to be able to give you initial advice. If you are ringing us to ask for help because your child has been accused of a sexual offence, 30 minutes may not be enough, and you may spend 20 minutes on the phone with one of the team obtaining the background detail before a further 30 minutes are spent discussing the case with a more specific focus. We are not going to time the call and start charging you when your 30 minutes is up, as many firms do. That is not how we work.
However for a more straightforward enquiry, such as a speeding matter, it may only take a couple of minutes for us to listen and advise.
We give you the time you need.
So often when preparing cases I find callers are reluctant to tell me things, sometimes for fear I will think less of them and others for fear I will tell the prosecution. I’ll be having a chat with them about the circumstances and they will say to me “do you want the truth” or double check that what they are telling me is confidential and will not go any further than me. I always reply that it is better that I know, then together we can decide if it is important to tell the court, but that yes, I cannot effectively prepare their case without knowing the full truth.
Today I took a call from a client. This client had been quiet on us for the past few weeks and is in court next week. We have been contacting him by phone, text and email for well over a month, all to no avail. Today he rang in, practically in tears, the stress and fear of the case and the consequences to his livelihood and life are simply too much for him to cope with. He has been, in his words “ignoring and hiding” from it, physically unable to face what could happen. I talked with him, listened to him and generally reassured him. This particular client’s caseworker is actually one of my colleagues, I was speaking with him as she was unavailable.
During that call I discovered all sorts he hadn’t shared with her as he was ashamed. But these were matters that could impact upon his case. His secret was that several years ago, when the financial crash happened, he owned a business which did not survive the downturn. Despite his best efforts he lost his business and was forced to declare bankruptcy – as happened to a lot of people. He is now working to build a new business with the support of friends and family. For legal reasons he can only be an employee not a named director but he is, for all intents and purposes, running the business on a day-to-day basis. He is also working hard to pay back all those that helped him and his family through that time.
To me this shows great courage; he’s working to rebuild his life. This is something the courts should be made aware of.
A firm who cared less, and listened less, than us would never have uncovered these vital details.
At Forrest Williams Solicitors we work on a fixed fee basis. We will talk with you. We will understand your needs and we will advise you on what we believe is the best course of action for you given your own specific circumstances. We will then provide you with a price for the works suggested. Dependent upon the type of case this may be a fixed fee for the case or we may agree a staged fee process for larger criminal matters where the specifics cannot yet be known. This fee will always be agreed with you in advance. We work like this because it is best for you.
Not only do you know what you are paying but you can relax and talk to us without fear of the cost of the call. We will not ask your income before we tell you the price of the case, because we quote knowing the workload involved for the case – not what you can afford to pay. So a doctor will not be charged more than a bricklayer just because he may earn more (we’ve had some very financially savvy manual workers!).
We do not negotiate on these fees based upon what you can afford to pay but we will always say talk to us, we can work with most things but not silence. It may be that we could agree a different service for you at a price that is more suited to your budget.
If you have a legal matter and want your case handled by a firm who pride themselves on customer care, who will listen to you, your needs and your views, understanding that it is your case, then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 397200