Bilkus & Boyle Info
Bilkus and Boyle Solicitors & Estate Agents in Glasgow: Review
If you've already been through a dozen law firms' websites today searching for one to take your case, you'll probably have noticed the majority use the same types of sales language, images, and so on. Fortunately there are resources online to help you distinguish between them a little better and hopefully make the decision easier.
Sadly so many firms use terms such as 'modern', 'friendly', 'established', etc. it almost makes them meaningless. But there are plenty of good indicators you may not have noticed between the lines. For example, here is the opening message on the Bilkus and Boyle website.
Considering so many firms are quoting histories as far back as the 1800s, this number may look almost new in comparison. However the whole ancient-history-boasting across the legal industry is really just a marketing ploy to make a firm seem as though it has a huge amount of experience which it may not. A two hundred year old brand name doesn't have a two hundred year old solicitor dealing with cases. They may very well assign a one year qualified newbie solicitor to handle your legal matter.
Vice versa, a firm quoting just a few years since opening could have several solicitors on board with dozens of years experience each. The forty years Bilkus Boyle quote is therefore very reasonable and an understandable sort of figure. It says 'established' without the exaggeration. But can you actually find out the expertise and experience of the firm's lawyers independently?
Most legal professionals are signed up to a law society. This could be a national one, county based, or city wide for larger population cities. We always commend The Law Society of England & Wales for their excellent website providing a wealth of user-side data to potential clients. The Law Society of Scotland on the other hand is not nearly so forthcoming with such details.
We usually can't find specific pages on a firm but if you search a firm's name on their website some information should pop up. You can then click the links of solicitor's names to see some more personal details such as case expertise. However these information spots are often blank or incomplete, and none show actual qualification dates of the lawyers within the practice like the English/Welsh version does.
As a Scottish business ourselves, we hope our national Law Society can catch up and provide a bit more in the future. So where else can you search?
These days there are dozens of review forums online such as Google Reviews, Yelp, Trustpilot, Yell, etc. We always advise reading actual comments rather than just flicking through ratings though. For example, we have three 5 star reviews on Trustpilot but due to the way they calculate averages - we only have a 3.5 star rating overall.
You may also find that many of the lowest ratings often have nothing to do with the firm's services. For example, the review we saw criticising a Criminal Law firm for refusing to take on someone's Divorce case. Or the review stating how all lawyers are crooked that had been copy/pasted across a dozen law firms in Birmingham. The opposite is also true as Bilkus & Boyle have a 5 star review for serving excellent food and being a dog friendly restaurant. The rest seem to refer to their actual services though:
"kept me involved in all of the decisions all of the time"
"took care of all the legal bumf and gave solid advice when needed"
"Met every commitment, made home purchase easy for us"
On the whole very positive considering their case range. By that we mean they handle conveyancing which is an area of law packed with unhappy clients. Typically one side is always unhappy at how a sale has gone either due to timescale, delays with finance, things popping up during the search phase, and so on. Quite often it's the fault of the buyer/seller or the other party's legal representation. But the client will generally blame their own solicitor.
The majority of large conveyancing specialists have ratings as low as 2 or 3 stars. So when we say B&B have a very positive rating, that's actually quite an accomplishment for a firm dealing with property matters. Another line on their site that probably sticks out to us more than to regular consumers would be:
Since the cuts and changes to Legal Aid over the past couple of decades, the number of law firms working with legal aid are less than the number of dentists taking on NHS clients. (Yes, it's that comparable.) So a firm still willing to work with people who can't afford a solicitor otherwise and therefore accept the much, much lower pay Legal Aid gives solicitors - is a very positive brownie point in their favour.
A quick note on navigation. Whilst the firm's name is unique there are obviously quite a few possible typos. The official website we link to above is www.bilkusandboyle.com but at the moment www.bilkusandboyle.co.uk does not redirect there. Be aware that no genuine web address can have an ampersand such as www.bilkus&boyle.com and none of the name-only variants such as www.bilkusboyle.com or the .co.uk's seem to be owned by anyone.
This is important because the firm deals with property matters. The number of scams relating to conveyancing and property in general have been increasing for years. People are handing millions of pounds over to fraudsters simply because they thought the email telling them to suddenly pay their huge deposit into a totally different bank account - were genuine. Never discuss payment or bank details via email. One last stand out phrase from the firm's site:
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 Bilkus & Boyle it's best to visit the website (www.bilkusandboyle.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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