Bell Lax Solicitors Info
Bell Lax Ltd - Solicitors in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham: Review
If you've already flicked through a few dozen law firm websites today trying to find the best one for your case, it probably became a bit of a blur. By that we mean most legal companies in the UK tend to use the same sort of sales language, highlight the same points, and make the same claims about their company that practically every other law practice does too. It can even look as though they got all their website images from the same stock photo pile.
Despite this, there are a handful of things we recommend you definitely checklist for each and every firm you are considering using. For today's example we'll be using the Bell Lax Solicitor's website. Cards on the table - we obviously like Bell Lax Solicitors, otherwise we wouldn't have added them to our database of searchable solicitors. But the basic checks we use when judging a firm for inclusion in our database can easily be used by potential clients as well to filter out non-suitable firms much quicker.
Most firms will make a claim like this about some length of time which is meant to make them sound well established and well experienced. The problem though, is that not all firms are talking about the same thing. If one firm says 'established in 1991', whilst another says '30 years experience as a solicitor', and another says '30 years experience within the firm' - those are three totally different claims even though they sound the same. The first is merely how long the firm's brand name has been active. The second is about how much experience the actual solicitor has. Then the third is simply them adding up the years of experience of all staff members together.
This is important because if you are swayed by either the first or last of those statements - you could end up with a 1 year qualified lawyer with zero experience. Despite all three statements seeming to indicate 30 years of 'something' - it is only the second statement that is a real indication that there is an actual 30 year experienced solicitor at the firm.
The greatest resource we've found for checking up on the experience levels of actual solicitors within a firm is The Law Society of England & Wales' website. Fortunately, Bell Lax are registered with them. The English/Welsh law society provides a wealth of user-side data including all trading names of a firm, all office locations, any languages spoken by staff, plus the expertise and qualification dates of registered solicitors.
If you check out the page for this firm you'll see a range of experienced staff covering almost all of the last three decades. For example Richard Kerry qualified in 1993, Natalie Bradshaw in 2009, Saira Walji in 2017, right up to Wioleta Dworak who qualified as a solicitor just in 2020. That's a good mix of ages, experience, and genders. Surely an enviable staff selection for any firm to have? It should hopefully mean wise, seasoned heads but with eager, fresh ideas bouncing around.
Again, no matter what case range a firm may offer you can often see them use the word 'specialist' to describe themselves. This can be very confusing, but 9 times out of 10 the firm is well within it's rights to use the word. It all depends on the set up. A firm that handles a single case types such as Motoring Offences is an obvious example of a specialist. On the other hand, an individual solicitor who tries to handle a huge range of case types cannot really call themselves a specialist.
These days however there is a third kind of firm. That's the type that has several specialist solicitors under one roof. So within the firm there will be a solicitor expert in Family Law, one expert in Personal Injury, one expert in Criminal Law, and so on. That's usually how a firm with a wide case range can still technically call themselves a 'specialist'. Luckily (again) you can use the Law Society website to look up whether the solicitor you've been chatting to does actually focus on your type of case.
Another very common claim a law firm might make is that former clients are happy with the service. Sometimes the law office provides testimonials on their website. Bell Lax don't do this, which is probably just as well because in our poll last year only 8% of you said you trusted company-provided testimonials. The majority of people want to check out public review boards such as Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, Yelp, etc.
"all the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful"
"dealt with my claim in a very professional manner and easy to deal with"
"very helpful and professional at explaining my case to me throughout and I always felt that they had my best interests at heart"
Those are a few snippets from the independent comment forums. The majority of them were very positive with helpful insights into what parts of the service they felt Bell Lax staff excelled at. There were no common themes amongst the few negative reviews. In fact for most of them no comments were left at all - just a low star rating which we always think is just plain unhelpful. For all we know the poor rating is for something ridiculous or not even for the correct firm.
We've seen a criminal lawyer get a negative review for refusing to take on a divorce case. We've seen a solicitor with several five star reviews for their 'awesome food'. The public review system has many flaws, but it's still worth checking out. We would just always recommend that you read actual comments rather than taking notice of average star ratings.
Whilst Bell Lax Solicitors makes a claim to have pioneered some of the great strides made in no win, no fee-ing - certainly this is now the bare minimum you should expect from any practice that deals with compensation claims. Some solicitors may take a cut of your compensation at the end of a case such as those with larger costs involved. But absolutely no solicitor should charge you any fees for running the case or if the case loses.
Along with making sure the law firm is registered with the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority), these tips above are all very basic things to check up on with a any firm you're considering to take on your case. There were several other things about Bell Lax Solicitors we saw as positive or just plain interesting that made them stand out a bit more in our minds.
They have a real news section. Funny article titles aside, they cover real issues. Typically the 'Blog' or 'News' section of a law firm's website is just another selection of articles saying how great the firm is or a single filler article showing that they thought about doing it, then quickly gave up. However Bell Lax's news section has a wide range of well written articles. Many of which probably wouldn't interest members of the general public though unless it related to their actual case.
They also have a section highlighting their more prominent cases. To be honest, we didn't read more than a couple and even then we skimmed. But that doesn't mean we don't understand the value that list of cases has in indicating their genuine establishment, experience, and expertise.
A quick note on navigation. The firm's name is quite unique so even common variants such as 'bellax solicitors' brings up the correct firm. The official website is www.belllax.com (triple 'l') with www.belllax.co.uk redirecting you there too. Again, the fact they bought both domains and made sure they were linked is actually something rare for a firm to do. Even amongst conveyancing law firms where fraud is currently rampant, many of those companies have not bothered spending the extra £5 to purchase any of the alternative tld domains to help protect their clients from phishing. Another couple of brownie points for Bell Lax then.
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 Bell Lax Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.belllax.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.
This Bell Lax Solicitors article is rated
4.5 / 5 based on 31 reviews. †
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