What to expect from your first appointment with a solicitor

We understand that meeting with a solicitor for the first time is often filled with uncertainties. In this blog we’ll share what to expect and make you more aware of what is likely to be discussed in your first meeting. 

1. Costs  

It is important find out the cost of your first appointment, if any, including the hourly charging rate of your legal advisor. This will help you plan a budget in advance.  

2. Client details  

We will ask you for details such as your name, address, telephone number and other appropriate contact details. It is essential to ensure that you provide up to date contact details and keep your solicitor up to date with any changes so that they can ensure information reaches you in a timely manner.  

It is also extremely important to tell your solicitor about any confidential details that you do not wish to be disclosed to other parties. This could be, for example, your husband / wife if you have moved to an address and you do not wish them to find out.  

3. Identity checks / complying with Anti-Money Laundering requirements 

We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We must therefore comply with certain types of requirements. This includes taking your ID and making sure there are no conflicts of interest.  

The identification we usually ask for is photographic; such as a Driving License or Passport (in date) and a bank statement dated within the last three months. This is also to ensure we are complaint with Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations.  

4. Code of Conduct requirements  

At the outset, we will make it the following clear to you: 

          A. The Costs of the work as much as we are able to, and other funding options that might be available to you. 

          B. Who will be carrying out the work on your behalf and others within the team.  

          C. The process of making a complaint if you are unhappy with the service.  

5. Instructions / questions  

It is very important to inform your solicitor about all the facts of your case / legal problem. This could be in a summary format and bullet pointed.  

If your solicitor is armed with all relevant information, they will be in a good position to provide initial advice and direction and help you to the best of their ability.  

Your solicitor will usually advise you of all possible routes for resolving your issues. This usually includes alternative dispute resolution in the first instance.  

Please also feel free to ask your solicitor any questions or provide clarity on any advice that they have given during the interview. They are there to help! 

6. Can I bring someone with me? 

A close friend or family member who can support you can be invaluable. Please feel free to bring someone with you who you feel can support you.  

7. End of interview / after the appointment  

At the end of your interview your solicitor will summarise what has been discussed and provide advice as to next steps. If we think matters require urgent action, we will advise you of this.  

Sometimes clients worry about the costs of instructing a solicitor and how they will fund their case from beginning to end. If this is something that concerns you, tell your solicitor.  

There are many ways we may be able to help you reduce costs whilst ensuring you are receiving the best possible advice and guidance. This may include helping you with certain aspects of your case such as drafting applications or witness statements.  

Therefore, don’t let costs get in the way of you receiving early initial advice. Whatever your concern, we are confident we can assist you and help you better understand your options or refer you to organisations who may be able to.  

Contact us, we are here to help

We’re here to help, so please pick up the phone or drop us an email and one of our dedicated team will help with your enquiry.