We understand that the need to appoint a solicitor and the pressure of mounting legal fees can be very stressful for our clients.
We would like to share a few tips we have, whatever the legal matter, to assist you in keeping your legal fees as low as possible.
Tip 1 – Be organised
Most solicitors charge at an hourly rate based on 6 minute units. Therefore time is money.
At your initial appointment, bring with you all of your personal details written down ie your full name, address, date of birth, telephone and email contact details and the full details of any other party to the matter.
Prior to an appointment send through any relevant documents to the solicitor. This will enable your solicitor to have a better knowledge of your matter prior to your appointment and therefore make it run smoother and faster. Ensure you write down what you want to discuss at the appointment beforehand so that you get the most value out of your time.
Send through any documentation by email, clearly labelled so that the solicitor does not spend time having to sort through and collate documents.
Tip 2 – Communicate effectively
Be concise, up front and clear on what you want your outcome to be.
If you are asked by your solicitor to provide information or documentation, do so in a timely fashion so your solicitor does not need to follow you up. Be accessible so that if your solicitor does contact you, you are regularly checking your email or have access to your telephone.
Where possible keep telephone calls and emails to a minimum. If your query is not urgent, we suggest you start a draft email and as you think of any questions you have or information to provide, add it to the email. By only sending one email instead of ten, your solicitor will only read and write one email in return as opposed to reading and responding to numerous emails.
If you are going to communicate by telephone, first make a list of all of the questions you need to ask or information you need to share and then call. Again, it is much more efficient to discuss several questions at once than to call back and forth.
In all communications it is imperative you are clear and concise in what you are trying to convey. Review your emails before you send them to ensure you have addressed all issues in full but also in a manner that is organised and logical. The less queries your solicitor needs to address the better.
Prioritise the outcomes and issues which are important to you and keep focused on dealing with those issues. Do not get sidetracked by minor issues which do not really matter to you.
Remember that whilst we are here to help you, we are not trained to offer counselling advice and would suggest building a good network of support through family and friends or seeing a trained professional to help you deal with your stress, anxiety and frustrations.
Tip 3 – Be realistic
One of the most important considerations when keeping in mind your legal fees, is to take into careful consideration any and all of the advice you are given by your solicitor. You need to be realistic in the outcomes you are able to achieve.
If legal fees are a major concern for you, you should ask your solicitor up front how to get the best possible outcome for the lowest outlay.
By putting the above tips into practice, you should be able to lessen your legal fees and relieve some of your financial pressures, whilst being on your way to obtaining your desired outcome.