Instructing lnternet Solicitors – 7 tips on instructing lawyers on the Internet
lnternet Solicitors – Introduction
lnternet Solicitors have a set of skills acquired through experience in legal practice and continuous study that allows them to identify, analyse, and find the appropriate solution to an Internet related legal problems. With this in mind we thought that it would be helpful to list 7 tips on instructing lnternet Solicitors you find via a search engine or Google ads on the Internet.
1. Budget – This is the most straightforward of the 7 tips. A solicitors firm is a business like any other. Like any business, solicitors require payment for third party expenses and giving advice, and usually charge a prevailing hourly rate. Buying a service is different from paying for a product. Products are usually exactly the same (i.e. a Samsung TV is the same product whether you buy it from Tesco or from Currys). With products the main driver for evaluating a purchase is price. A service is a lot more complex. Evaluation principles should be based on several different criteria including the ability to deliver on time and on budget, skills and knowledge in the practice area, performance record, flexibility on price and in responding to changes in specification. Internet culture tends to reduce every business exchange into a commodity exchange. There are price comparison websites for everything, even services that are not necessarily suitable. While financial products such as insurance, credit cards, personal loans and gas and electricity tariffs are appropriate for price comparison, intimate and complex professional services are not necessarily suitable. Accordingly, instructions resulting from Internet search engines or Google advertising form a significantly smaller proportion percentage of overall business for successful law firms; the highest proportion percentage still comes from terrestrial word of mouth referrals.
2. Clear and detailed instructions – Internet culture has made short-form informal chat-room communication the norm. But expressing yourself in a 140 character limit when procuring legal services is not only inappropriate, it is also ineffective. Solicitors, even those that specialise in Internet related commercial law, are professionals and communication between a potential client and a solicitor should reflect this. Problem solving is difficult. Clients have to give clear and comprehensive instructions.Without a careful detailed analysis of the problem a lawyer is unlikely to be able to give a quotation or advise, in a comprehensive way, to deal with the problem.
Hourly rates will vary, but the County Court Solicitors Charge Rate for London 2 (W1, WC1, WC2, SW1) for Grade A Solicitors (over 8 years) experience is £317 per hour.
3. Risk – Have you done a costs/benefits risk evaluation? If your problem involves a high degree of risk – the stakes are high if something goes wrong you could end up being sued for a substantial sum or run into problems with the authorities. Apart from undergoing years of previous study, continuous study, practice experience, being recertified annually, all solicitors are required to have compulsory minimum insurance cover which is renewable every year. All solicitors pay substantial premiums to have that cover. Cover can only be obtained on the open market from a small number of insurers in a very risk averse insurers market. Solicitors who have had professional negligence claims or a long track record of adverse regulatory history, including competency, either have to pay prohibitively high premiums or are unable to get insured. Additionally solicitors are heavily regulated so using them is a shrewd way of minimising your risk.
4. Doing some research yourself – Do some basic research yourself so you have some understanding of the subject-matter. But don’t assume that you understand the issues and procedure from a few hours of personal research. Again solving legal problems is difficult. How you address a problem will partly depend on the type of problem with which you are faced. It is simply inaccurate that lawyers apply the same solution to every problem, or that they reformulate the problem so that it fits neatly into the category of problem which they have dealt with before. This is a popular misconception. Every set of facts is different. This is true whether you are registering, licensing or litigating over intellectual property, writing website terms and conditions or music/film contracts.
5. Control – You might find it difficult to let go of the urge to micro-manage or control every situation. It is not cost effective for busy entrepreneurs or/and business owners to take the time to deal with legal problem themselves. Also specialists often have an instinct (quite apart from knowledge and specialised skills) for problem solving that can only be acquired through experience.
6. You are creative and enjoy business development and strategy – Dealing with legal problems is mostly procedural and rule based. It is not very appealing work for an entrepreneur, additionally delegation is a necessary skill for a business manager or/and entrepreneur.
7. lnternet Solicitors Specialist – Go to specialist lnternet Solicitors. Specialist lnternet Solicitors are more likely to have the knowledge to evaluate what is needed to solve your problem more accurately and in a timely fashion.
To book a face to face consultation for commercial legal advice you should contact a solicitor (charge rates may apply and may vary).
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