Harrison's Solicitors Info
Harrison's Solicitors - Conveyancing in Reading, Caversham & Woodley: Review
The internet has brought so many advantages when it comes to choice for consumers. It has levelled the playing field so that smaller firms offering great service can't be crushed out of the market by larger, bigger-budgeted firms. Although, sadly, since everyone has allowed Google to take over what people get to see online - that 'money rules' imbalance is being brought back in.
One of the downsides of searching for a firm online is that you only see the website. You are not walking into the actual office and talking with the staff. The 'feel' of a firm is lost to the 'look' of it. So what can you do to know the difference between one firm that says they are the 'leading firm' for their service versus the other 100 firms all saying they are the 'leading firm' as well?
This quote from the Harrison's website looks great but you will have seen practically every other firm make a similar claim. There are no firms claiming to be unprofessional and bad value for money are there? So these statements don't help much.
This is also a statement nearly every firm will make but you can actually check up on this one independently. One resource we're constantly recommending to people is the website of The Law Society of England & Wales. It provides a huge wealth of data to users on the firms and individuals registered with the organisation. That includes any alternate business names (we'll come back to that), contact details, areas of law covered, and most importantly - qualifications of staff within the firm.
This way you can check whether the firm does have genuine 'qualified' staff. If you look up the page for this firm you'll see the titular solicitor Ashley Harrison qualified in 1997 with David Woodward qualifying in 2008. Their areas of law also show they specialise in Property matters. That's a solid foundation.
So on top of having verified, specialist, qualified staff they have also had their setup independently evaluated. It will take you less than 30 seconds to have looked up that information but armed with these kinds of details you'll be able to tell important differences beyond the glossy pages of the various websites.
Each law and conveyance firm will also likely make a statement such as this regarding how they are great with their clients. The most common way to check up on this is the public review boards such as Google, Trustpilot, Facebook, etc. Many firms provide testimonial pages on their website, but according to our poll a few years back most agreed with us that company provided testimonials are not always the most informative. (Only 8% of you said you trusted them at all.)
"made such a huge difference having a direct access to discuss all the options available"
"quick responses and updates"
"always replied very quickly to my emails and my many questions"
These are some snippets from the independent comment forums and as you can see they are mainly positive with a noticeable theme about good communication. However, this is more impressive than many might realise. If you look up the top conveyancing firms for the country then check their star ratings on the various review boards you'll see some with 3 or even 2 star ratings but still with thousands of customers leaving either praise or tangible hatred over time.
Unfortunately for conveyancing firms when things go wrong they will usually get the blame no matter what has caused the delay or issue. Property sales are also the only service we know of where people feel free to leave negative comments about the other side's firm complaining and even use review boards to threaten the other side to 'hurry up!'. So seeing any property firm with a star rating in the 4s such as Harrisons' is unusual.
A quick note on navigation as things can get tricky when researching law firms as Google is hell-bent on pushing adverts and alternate services in your face. For example, when we searched for "harrisons solicitors reading" the local listing simply would not pop up. It did for "caversham" and "woodley". But you can no longer see reviews for the company in general. We had to look up individual listing information and reviews for each individual office.
Also note that the full name of the firm is Harrisons Thames Valley Solicitors LLP. So if you see that name at the top of things it is the same company. The web address www.harrisonssolicitors.com can be tricky too with the double 's' in the middle so be careful. www.harrisonssolicitors.co.uk is not currently owned by the firm and there will be plenty of variations like it also un-owned. So you need to be really careful and ensure you are on the correct site because property matters are one of the highest targeted areas of law when it comes to scams. People have handed millions in mortgage deposits to fraudsters sometimes simply because they received an official-looking email stating the bank details of their solicitor had changed. Never discuss payments via email. Call someone you know at the firm immediately.
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 Harrison's Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.harrisonssolicitors.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 Harrison's Solicitors article is rated
4.8 / 5 based on 29 reviews. †
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» www.jefferies-solicitors.com - A recent article in a href="http ...
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