It is not often that law firms are forced to close and solicitors struck-off from practising the law. In May 2018 Norwich-based litigation law firm, GMS Law Ltd, closed its doors and a few months later owner, Richard Thomas Clegg, was struck-off after a three-day hearing by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. They found he had acted ‘without integrity and had been dishonest’ by involving a client in a defence to a case without telling her.
Undoubtedly there will have been a string of former GMS Law Ltd clients wondering what to do next. However, the firm’s closure and subsequent striking-off of their principal solicitor may leave people questioning what they should do to ensure they choose the right solicitor to represent them in the first place.
Choosing the right solicitor to represent you with your compensation claim may feel like a daunting task. Typically, people will ask amongst family and friends to see who they recommend, or search online to identify a suitable firm and use what they read to inform their decision.
So, what should you be looking for to help you to choose which solicitor to trust with your case?
Solicitors that specialise
Avoid the solicitor that dabbles in a variety of areas of the law! The personal injury and clinical negligence laws change rapidly so it is important to use one that keeps up to date and is familiar with changes in protocol and case law. Also, using a specialist solicitor means they are attuned to the tactics adopted by defendants during litigation and have mastered the art of negotiation.
In order to call yourself a solicitor or legal executive, you must have passed a series of exams and undergone on-the-job training which should give you some reassurance. However, there are other accreditations that you can look out for. In the case of Hatch Brenner Solicitors, the firm and individual lawyers are accredited by AvMA (Association of Victims of Medical Accidents); APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) and the Law Society for expertise in clinical negligence.
Client testimonials and recommended by others
If you do not know someone who has already used the firm and can personally recommend them, then it is worthwhile reviewing any testimonials that are on their website. You can also look at Google Reviews and Trustpilot. Also have a look at the firm’s social media accounts to see what people are saying about them.
Many firms include information about previous cases that they may have acted on and this can give clients reassurance that their case is in safe hands. If you are unsure about whether to instruct a firm it is always worthwhile picking up the phone and speaking them so that they can answer any questions you may have about cost and relevant experience.
Hatch Brenner Solicitors has a dedicated team specialising in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury. The team was bolstered in 2020 when Sara Westwood and Simon Bransby joined from fellow Norwich specialist firm Morgan Jones Pett. If you have suffered from medical negligence or personal injury then get in touch to see how we can help. T. 01603 660 811.