11 February 2021
All solicitors must meet the minimum standards that we set for them. This means that you can expect any solicitor to be competent and to behave ethically.
However, like any service that you purchase, the quality of service you receive may vary between different solicitors and law firms. Some firms may have particular expertise in the area you need with, some may have extremely high standards of customer service, some may focus more on being budget friendly.
There is information out there that can help you to compare different solicitors and law firms to help you choose which one is right for you.
Once you have a short list of firms, it is a good idea to find out what their previous customers think about their service. There are many online review sites, including ones specific to legal services, where you can see what other people are saying about solicitors and law firms that they have used before, and what ratings they have.
Look at several reviews to get a balanced picture of the firm you are considering. No business gets it right all of the time, so one negative review does not mean the firm will not provide you with a quality service. But if there are several negative reviews, you might want to think carefully about whether this is the right firm for you.
Make sure you read any responses from firms to customer reviews, so that you understand the firm’s perspective and how they deal with customer dissatisfaction.
We have launched a pilot scheme bringing together law firms and comparisons website providers to increase the number of consumers leaving and reading customer reviews about solicitors and law firms. In particular we are doing this regarding house buying and employment law.
All of the comparison websites taking part collect and publish customer reviews. Some of these sites will publish reviews on any law firm, others only publish reviews about law firms who have signed up to their services.
We have given these providers a voluntary code of conduct, which sets out the standards we expect of these sites to ensure they are independent, transparent and fair to both you and the firms they carry information on.
We use law firms at crucial moments in our life. As well as getting value-for-money, we want to choose a firm that will offer good customer service. Yet it can be difficult to find out whether a firm's customers have had a good experience. You might know someone who can make a recommendation, but even this is unlikely to give an overall picture of whether a firm provides good customer service.
Most of us are familiar with customer reviews and star ratings. We often use them to help us choose products and services. Many websites publish customer reviews about law firms; we want to encourage more of you to use and leave reviews on these sites.
Online reviews can help potential customers. A one-off review may not be so helpful. Every firm can occasionally provide an outstanding or poor service. Yet if more customers leave reviews, everyone gets a more reliable picture. It could help us all more easily pick out those firms who consistently provide good service.
But I'm not qualified to review legal services
You don't need to review the technical work the firm did. People want to know about a firm's customer service and whether you would be happy to use them again. You are qualified to comment on that!
What makes a helpful review?
Research shows good customer service really matters when using a law firms. You might want to think about some of these questions when writing your review:
- Were the firm empathetic and interested in your case?
- Did you feel listened to?
- Did the firm provide you with the information and advice you needed in a way you could understand?
- Were the firm easy to contact?
- Were you kept informed about what was happening?
- Were any documents they produced accurate and well written?
- Would you recommend the firm to a friend?
What if the law firm doesn't like what I have written?
No-one likes to hear that their customer is unhappy with the service they provided and that potential customers are reading about it!
Review sites allow law firms to respond on the site to their reviews. If the firm disagrees with your opinion, it can put its view forward.
However, firms should not be aggressive with you or pressure you into removing the review. If you feel the firm have done this, contact our report team or speak to the review site and ask them to contact us.
All firms must have a complaints procedure and if you are unhappy, make a complaint to the firm so it can try to resolve the issue. Whether or not you choose to do this, you can still leave a review. If you have not complained directly to the firm, it may, through the review site, ask you to get in touch so it can understand your concerns and maybe resolve them. We encourage firms to resolve customer dissatisfaction, but it is up to you if you get in touch.
It is important your review is fair and honest. Just like any business, law firms are able to take action if a customer says something about them publicly which is not true.
Most solicitors and law firms have websites. If you already have a solicitor or firm in mind, or you have narrowed down your options to a few, you can find out more information about their services by checking their website.
Our rules mean that solicitors who offer certain common legal services have to publish certain information on their website information about the services they offer, including detail on how services are delivered, prices, and the teams who would carry out the work.
You can also contact a solicitor through email or a phone call to ask them for more information about their services and discuss your specific case. This may help you decide whether you want to work with them.