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Advice on finding a Solicitor (good, supportive, strategic, not extortionate - do they exist?)

Posted by catexon 
A call to any and everyone who's been through divorce and had to work with solicitors.

Any recommendations on how best to identify and connect with respectable individuals or businesses where there is a level of confidence that you're not dealing with a cowboy just out to fleece you?

Like many stories you hear - I'm having a mare with mine. They can't even remember any of the detail we discuss because surely they have 100 other clients and perhaps specialise in multiple areas of law. Am averaging an invoice per month of £1k+ and always have to pay upfront before even a call can be booked. Feels like instead of dealing with a professional services business I'm engaged with a pay as you go phone box. No strategic discussions or explanations to what I'm even facing - it's just left to me to research and ultimately I'm left wondering could/should I just have done all this myself. Have parted with over £20k already and really little if anything has moved...

Am hoping it's just me and there are legit good people out there who will listen, work WITH you and most importantly strategically advise. My hunch is I'm getting terrible advice, no attention is being paid to my specific case and I have an other half who's solicitors are blasting me with aggressive scrutiny and seemingly wanting my life / and money. My solicitor just doesn't seem to have any interest in fighting with any fire and I feel we're rolling over for everything. I am desperately worried I've made a mistake and that their representation will leave me in a worse off position.

Google is filled with too many businesses operating in this space I'm finding it impossible to differentiate between the good and bad. They all look the same.

Any advice, forums, qualification criteria or other - even personal recommendations please post or DM me (if that's possible here..).

Thanks in advance.
The way to keep costs down is not to bother your solicitor every 5 minutes as they will charge you for every letter, phone call etc. When my wife and I divorced I engaged with my solicitor when I needed them, all correspondence from my wifes solicitor was sent to me for me to deal with and then if there was something I needed my solicitor for I made an appointment and we dealt with it in that meeting. My bill was relatively low compared to my wife’s as she wouldn’t deal with me at all so had to pay for her solicitor to send everything to me and deal with my responses.
appreciate that. I have spoken to this guy at best 3-4 times in 1.5 years, we never email direct and 99% of the comms goes through an unqualified PA - not even a trained and/or junior solicitor. feel like I've paid to deal with a PA and getting no advice.

Something worth remembering is that many solicitors are part of a chain or bigger organisation. As such they may have limited control over how much they charge and they may be under pressure to maximise fee income. If any of you have animals you may have noticed the same phenomenon with vets which are now often owned by chains or bigger organisation.

The point is you should

(a) use a solicitor you feel is actually useful to you,
(b) you should try to keep costs within bounds by not emailing, phoning or seeking appointments every five minutes and
(c) you should always weigh costs against benefits. It may be worth incurring legal costs of £5,000 to recover £100,000 but not to spend £5,000 to recover £5,500.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2022 02:08PM by David Terry.
I used two solicitors during my divorce. One was definitely better than the other. The main issues with the not so good solicitor:
1. He was not a good communicator, and struggled to explain things so that I could understand.
2. He made silly mistakes e.g. incorrectly submitting my $AUD 50k pension as £GBP 50k, making me look richer than I was
3. He spent a lot of time communicating with the opposing solicitor (which cost a lot), about things I didn't want to spend money on. I told him to stop but he kept doing it "because he had to". Now it may be that it was in my best interest he did this - so I refer to point #1 that he didn't communicate clearly.
4. He was generally disorganised and often sick / on leave / away at key times in the case.
thanks for sharing. I decided to move solicitors after my intuition telling me my solicitor is a cowboy.

Having consulted another solicitor it was refreshing to finally get a levelled conversation. They properly reviewed my case, explained everything in detailed and importantly are working 'with me' - immersing themselves in the case.

I did not have any of this prior and truth be told this guy is clearly a cowboy not capable of doing anything of than processing paper work. It has put me on the back foot hugely as there look to have been many mistakes made but am informed it's not too late. At least I fee now there is a 'plan'.

Time will tell with this one but I sunk £20k down the drain on costs to get nowhere and mainly deal with an unqualified PA. There is a lot of £££ at stake so fingers crossed it's the right move.
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