Small business solicitors – the right fit?
I guess our firm, in the general scheme of things, would be classified as small firm, even though we have more than 10 lawyers. We are one of at least a few hundred smaller law firms in London.
Clients, first and foremost, tend to rely on personal recommendations when choosing lawyers, and for good reasons. But clients are also becoming very sophisticated in the way they choose lawyers, and with the internet, they are now able to easily research people and firms in a way they couldn’t before.
In our experience, this sophistication includes a realisation that even where a friend, family member or colleague has had a great experience or result using a lawyer, prospective clients will now adopt other criteria. There is a realisation that specialisation and experience are really important. people are able to look into these aspects by not only phoning or meeting a lawyer but by having a look at what they publish online – this gives a great insight into the solicitor and also the firm.
The vast majority of businesses in the UK are small businesses. Not only would most of those businesses either be unable or unwilling to pay the higher charging rates of the biggest law firms, they also, in my experience, recognise that, as with many things in life, even if they were minded to go to a big law firm, it may be a square peg in a round hole. What I find is that clients understand that a small law firm will have an affinity with them and their problems. After all, Darlingtons, like many of our clients, is a small business, so we understand and recognise the same issues that our clients encounter. We are familiar with their problems and deal with similar issues for other small businesses, so have the right experience to offer proportionate and cost effective advice. In short, like goes with like.
Small law firms – look for the right specialist
It is worth also mentioning that a firm like ours, whilst small, has a team of lawyers where we can cover different aspects of legal advice. It is very common with business law advice, such as buying or selling a business, for me to be involved in property aspects, our commercial lawyers will deal with the contract and corporate aspects and our employment team may advise on any employment law aspects. There are also potential dangers, in an increasingly complex and specialised world, in going to a firm which is too small.
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