A survey just published by The Legal Services Consumer Panel suggests that general public trust in lawyers is falling, and lagging significantly behind doctors and teachers.
But the same survey concludes that people who have actually had dealings with solicitors give them a very high approval rating of 85%.
Commenting on the report, our MD Paul Mulderrig said:
“We are very proud of our own approval rating at Mulderrigs.
“We survey our clients on an rolling basis and typically enjoy an approval rating of 98%.
Around 85% of clients describe us as “excellent” and another 13% describe us as “good”.
“In many ways this report is disappointing news for the profession.
“But it is also is entirely predictable, for several reasons:-
“Government deregulation of the legal profession in recent years has led to hundreds of so-called “claims management companies” offering services direct to the public. These poorly regulated companies are rarely staffed by qualified solicitors, and they don’t operate to the kind of ethical standards demanded by the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
“Government cuts in the amount of fees paid to solicitors have also led to many law firms hiring unqualified staff to handle complex legal work.
“But top quality legal advice is still available to clients who take a few straightforward steps when choosing a lawyer:-
- Look for a law firm that has achieved the Law Society’s LEXCEL mark of excellence *.
- Look for an expert solicitor – Check whether the lawyer is a member of one of the Law Society’s specialist panels. **
- Make the decision for yourself. Don’t let your insurer or trade union choose a lawyer for you.
- Whatever you do, steer well clear of “claims management” companies.
“Most of the solicitors I have worked with during 30 years in the profession go to extraordinary lengths to do the right thing for their clients.
“So if you need legal advice make sure that you deal with a reputable and hard-working solicitor….There are still a few of us out there!”
* Mulderrigs have held the Law Society LEXCEL quality mark since 2002.
** Paul has been a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel since around 1994.