Avery Walters Solicitors Info
Avery & Walters Ltd - Solicitors in Leeds & Harrogate: Review
We get dozens of firms contacting us each week asking about getting on to the 1to1Legal network and being recommended to people in the UK for legal services. We're quite picky and maybe take on one or two of them. Avery Walters on the other hand was a firm we identified as one we'd like to have on the network and actually went out of our way to contact them about getting involved.
Of course, much of the writing on their website may sound like what you see on most company sites. So how can you tell the jargon from the actual promises and the quality firms from the bad? Well, there are actually more tools available than you might think. Of course some of it is just common sense and a bit of online experience.
Statements such as these for example can be checked through places such as The Law Society. Most solicitors in the UK are registered with them in their respective areas. If you check the site for England & Wales you can look up the expertise and experience (or at least the qualification dates) of each solicitor within the practice you're interested in. The page for this firm for example lists a good mix of seasoned experienced personel along with some freshly placed staff. For example, Amanda Cuthbert qualified in 1993, David Cartwright in 2001, right up to Laura Stafford in 2017. You can click on each person's name to see further details about their chosen fields as well. In our experience, newer solicitors tend to be quite eager to prove themselves and go above and beyond. However, you need the stable balance of experience in each firm as well to help things run smoother and stay focused.
This is often where some firms can get 'clever' with their maths to mislead people. In this case, Avery Walters definitely has well-experienced staff and a well-established firm. However the same maths process is often abused by newer, less-scrupulous firms. For example, a firm with five solicitors each with only a couple of years' experience may state on their front page 'over a decade of experience in X law!'. Which sounds far more impressive than 'we've been doing this for two years!', doesn't it?
In such cases, it's not always clear whether the numbers being stated are about how long the firm has been running, or the combined experience years all added together for the staff. This is done for founding dates too to make firms sound far more established than they are. For example, a firm that states 'founded in 1883' could simply have bought the brand name or have found some really tenous family links with one of their staff. Certainly there is no 200+ year old solicitor working behind any of the desks. Just something to be mindful of when choosing a firm.
Another thing to watch for is how you appraise public reviews. Some people just skip through the general ratings without really looking into how those ratings were gained. For example, we're obviously praising Avery Walters as a good firm whilst their Google rating only shows 3.3/5 - which doesn't sound great at all. If you read through some of the negative reviews though, one accuses them of 'racism' because they asked her to provide a passport to process an immigration claim. Another has been responded to saying no such person has ever been a client at their firm to begin with. Here is a selection of the more positive ones from places like Google, Trustpilot and Yell:
"The brief was a bit complicated and required a lot of input from me and her. Laura successfully navigated me through the process with the minimum of fuss,"
"found them to be very helpful and kept me updated regularly"
"They helped me so much with a dispute I had with my employer. I would highly recommend them"
Sadly review boards can be manipulated both ways - i.e. firms posting 5 star reviews about themselves and companies posting 1 star reviews of their competitors. If you read through them rather than just skipping through star ratings, you get a much better feel for the company's strengths and weaknesses as common threads can repeat. In our last article we unfortunately had to point out a firm that had more than a dozen 5 star reviews, all written within the same month, and all by people with only 1 review ever written (pause for huge eyebrow raise). So despite the lower star rating for Avery Walters, we still come away with the impression of a very positive firm after going through the actual review wording.
Avery Walters Solicitors states having two offices and the one in Leeds certainly bears that name. You may also see other names such as Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors and Avery & Walters Ltd mentioned when looking around for information. (The latter being the actual registered parent name of the firm.) The Harrogate office is trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors. This article is only about the Avery Walters side though and the website for them is www.averywalters.com with www.averywalters.co.uk redirecting you there as well. Obviously there are going to be common mistakes such as 'avary walters' or 'avery walter' so it's probably a good idea to bookmark the site once you're on it to be sure. The Harrogate office has it's own website at www.powell-eddison.co.uk, most of the variants such as www.powelleddison.co.uk don't redirect you so the same bookmarking advice there.
Both offices deal with Conveyancing which has been a huge target for scammers in recent years. So don't think we're pushing that bookmarking stuff just to promote the firm. It's a very serious problem and with so many variants possible it would only take someone buying the www.averyandwalters.com domain name and sticking a fake site up to start causing big problems for everyone.
General Notes: Usually if Legal Aid is possible we've mentioned it above, but you can always ask. We haven't looked in depth at their recruitment program so are unaware of any job vacancies available. For a career with Avery Walters Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.averywalters.com), check opening hours, and find the correct phone/email contact details. Simply emailing a CV to reception looks lazy. Each law firm's Law Society and/or SRA number should be on their site, usually at the bottom of each page.
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