An antidote to "Tesco Law" and "Solicitors From Hell"?
With the announcement that the so-called Tesco Law goes into effect later this year, many solicitor firms are worried how they will fit into the changing legal sector. The new law will effectively deregulate the legal sector as a whole. It will lend to new avenues for raising money by using anything from bringing on board non-legal partners to taking advantage of the stock market.
Some fear the quality of legal services will be pushed aside in new "sell them cheap, pack them in" legal firms where quality and individual personal care, one of the cornerstones of good legal practice, will go by the wayside in pursuit of shareholder profits. This leaves smaller law firms at a crossroads: either grow by adding partners, or scramble to keep their existing clients and bring aboard new ones.
solicitor.info, an independent legal website, is ahead of the curve and has taken measures to provide existing law firms with a way to ensure quality services are the first thing a potential client is introduced to. "With so many changes in the sector as a whole, there's going to be a lot of shuffling and redefining of strategies", says the site's founder, David Sprake. "Our goal is to help those firms help themselves in an affordable and meaningful way".
Solicitor.info allows solicitors’ clients to rate services they have received. Solicitors who receive the best ratings and most ratings are positioned at the top of the website listings - not those who pay the most in advertising. "Many solicitors are adding themselves voluntarily and then encouraging their clients to leave feedback" says Sprake. "A solicitor will find many new clients this way; it’s a win-win situation and it’s free!"
Janet Davies of Booth, Ince and Knowles Solicitors, a law practice in Manchester, is certainly benefiting from solicitor.info, "We love the concept of solicitor.info and tell all our clients to leave feedback of our service there; people looking for legal help read the feedback on solicitor.info and instruct us, we have seen lots of work come through because of it." Make no mistake solicitor.info is not like the infamous Solicitors from Hell website. Visitors to the site are looking for solicitor firms that will give them a good, professional service in a timely and affordable manner.
Solicitor.info also goes some way to addressing problems associated with defamatory ratings. A solicitor is automatically emailed every time they receive a review, and they can submit a live response immediately. If the review is defamatory, the solicitor can request it to be removed, and this will be done "expeditiously" say’s the site owner. If a solicitor wishes, they can be removed from site altogether, all without charge or obligation.
In the end, it comes down to one question as far as solicitors are concerned, how do I market my quality service? Solicitor.info certainly is one avenue to do this.
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The site was founded in 2009, and currently receives around 10,000 unique visits per month.
Entries on the site are free for solicitors, for a client to leave a rating, and for anyone to view reviews. Visitors view the site to see what others think about a solicitor in their area to discern who best suits their needs.
David Sprake, founder of the site, can be contacted for interview and comment on firstname.lastname@example.org