We hope that the FAQs below answer any queries you may have about working with us. However, if your question isn’t answered or you would like more information, please do get in touch using the contact form.
Yes, absolutely. Our solicitors are qualified, have current practicing certificates and have years of experience in their practice areas.
No. We employ solicitors to give legal advice but we are not a traditional firm of solicitors. Our solicitors are qualified and regulated as individuals in the same way as any other solicitor. Unlike traditional law firms, however, our business itself is not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Solicitors who work outside of a traditional law firm are sometimes called ‘freelance solicitors’ or ‘independent solicitors’. For some types of legal work a client might need to use a traditional law firm (see below). For most legal advice however it is not always necessary for solicitors and clients to incur the full cost of a traditional law firm.
While using our lawyers can be more cost effective than working with a traditional law firm, our legal advice is still provided by qualified and experienced solicitors. The legal services our ‘freelance’ solicitors provide must meet the same high standards set for all solicitors. As well as benefiting from the solicitor’s years of study and training, your solicitor is also overseen where necessary by independent regulatory and complaints bodies:
- our solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’) and comply with the high standards of ethical conduct required, including to advise you in your best interests (regardless of what is best for our business); and
- complaints about solicitors can be raised with an independent Legal Ombudsman free of charge (once the solicitor has had a chance to respond). More information can be found in our terms of business.
The SRA and the Legal Ombudsman only deal with solicitors and a solicitor’s legal work however. Any concerns about our business as a whole or any of our other work would be dealt with through our complaints procedure below.
Yes. For the type of legal work we offer, freelance solicitors are not required to take out ‘professional indemnity insurance’ which meets the minimum standards of cover required of traditional law firms. Nonetheless, we have purchased other professional indemnity insurance to cover our legal advice up to a limit of £3,000,000. This is so that, in the unlikely event that a solicitor makes a mistake in your legal work, insurance is in place to protect you. If you would like to see the policy to more fully understand the terms and exclusions or have any questions about the cover, please do let us know.
For our area of law we find that this business model is a great fit for clients, delivering the expertise that they need within a boutique practice without all of the costs of a more traditional practice. However we do want to be open about the differences between us and a traditional law firms so there are some details on this below.
Freelance solicitors can be a great option for certain types of work such as general legal advice legal drafting on a variety of topics including wills, commercial contracts, regulatory matters etc. For some problems, clients do still need to use traditional law firms, such as:
- suing people, being sued or making claims (including immigration work and employment related claims made by the employee);
- dealing with someone’s estate after they have died;
- buying and selling property, including business property;
- legal work which has a financial services element to it.
For most areas of law, however, this has not been necessary since late 2019.
There may also be occasions where we feel that someone might be better off working with a traditional law firm and, if so, we won’t hesitate to tell you. Traditional firms can offer additional services and protections which can sometimes be particularly important, such as:
- the handling of client money: our freelance solicitors cannot hold client money for you in the same way that traditional law firms do. Ordinarily, this is not a problem for our type of work. Client money held by traditional solicitor firms also benefits from possible access to the SRA compensation fund should a solicitor ever steal money from the client account (an extremely rare occurrence);
- SRA ‘minimum terms’ professional indemnity insurance cover: this significantly limits the circumstances in which an insurer can escape liability for funding claims in the event of a mistake being made and requires a minimum amount of cover of £2 million to £3 million;
- please also note that the solicitor’s regulator SRA has questioned whether ‘legal professional privilege’ would apply outside of a law firm. All solicitor work is confidential, including our own. Solicitor work could also benefit from ‘privilege’ which may not otherwise be available, which means that in some additional circumstances the client can refuse to disclose information to others. While we would argue privilege applies in these new models and believe there are good grounds for doing so, the position is not as clear under this model as it is for traditional firms.
For the type of legal work which we do, we generally find that our clients benefit greatly from working with a freelance solicitor. We can offer clients the reassurance of working with a qualified and experienced professional without necessarily incurring the full cost of a traditional law firm service. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
We’re sure that you’ll be delighted with the service we provide. If at any stage you wish to make a complaint about the legal advice provided by your solicitor, then please tell your solicitor straight away. If the person handling your matter cannot promptly resolve your concerns then it will be dealt with as a formal complaint under our complaints policy. This process involves an investigation of the concerns by a senior member of the business, Bill Cogan. We will then write to you within 8 weeks setting out our final response to the complaint and how you can pursue you concerns further if you do not agree with our proposed resolution / outcome.
Individual consumers and smaller organisations may be entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman about our solicitor’s service if they remain dissatisfied (not about any non-legal work conducted or about non-solicitor staff). The Ombudsman would generally expect clients to follow the internal complaints procedure first however. Complaints to the Ombudsman should normally be made within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint and no more than 6 years from the date of when the problem arose (or if you were not initially aware of the problem, within 3 years of when you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint). You can find further information about the Ombudsman on the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. You can write to the Ombudsman at Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or by email on email@example.com or call on 0300 555 0333.
Alternative complaints / dispute resolution bodies do also exist (such as Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation) which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services if we both agree to use such a scheme. If we agree to use such a scheme we will inform you when notifying you of our final response to your complaint.
Please note that the Legal Ombudsman is there to deal with concerns about the level of service which a client has received from a solicitor. Where there are more serious concerns that a solicitor has been involved in professional misconduct then reports can also be made to the SRA, the regulator of solicitors and solicitor firms. This could be for quite unusual and serious acts of misconduct such as dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. Obviously we do not anticipate any such problems arising and would ask that you notify the matter supervisor straight away if you have any such concerns.