Hawkridge & Company Info
Hawkridge & Company - Hawk Law Solicitors in Gillingham, Medway: Review
Hawkridge & Company are another firm which may appear like a regular high street firm, but they actually tick a lot of boxes for us that you typically don't get from many other legal practices. For any legal matter there are often a range of options such as a general practice firm, a specialist provider, a direct access barrister, or even sometimes a non-law-firm solution such as for bankruptcy, wills, or debt collection.
This quote from the firm's website is a selection of words that sound good but are almost meaningless to consumers because every single law firm's website you've visited today will probably have had such statements. Popular words these days which we've seen across huge numbers of legal professionals sites include 'modern', 'specialist', 'friendly', 'leading' and so on. But frankly, no law firm is going to advertise themselves as the opposite of these things. So what should you look out for?
One thing that often bugs us is when a firm says they are 'award-winning'. Because nine times out of ten the firm will state they are such without providing any noticeable explanation or links to information about what exactly the award was for. It could have been for logo design, which really doesn't help in estimating the quality of their legal services.
Hawkridge & Co on the other hand have big clear logos at the bottom of their page showing Lexcel Accreditation, the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, Accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly, and so on. No unsubstantiated claims, just clear examples of their status showing good immersion in the industry as a whole. These kinds of things are not automatically given to new firms or anyone that simply signs up to that organisation. They involve sometimes lengthy co-operation and the maintenance of certain high standards.
Again, all law firms will claim to have staff with the necessary expertise. However for this you are usually able to check this independently and get a good insight into the overall experience a firm may have. Most firms around the UK are signed up to at least one law society. This firm is signed to The Law Society of England & Wales which is great because they offer a huge range of information about the firms they list.
This includes all known offices, with alternate contact details, any related trading names, staff information, languages spoken, and more. The most useful of these are the qualification dates of the solicitors at each firm which are made available publicly. Some examples, for this firm you'll see David Johncock qualified in 1981, Tristan Alder in 2004, and Michael Oduwole in 2012. A good range of seasoned experience alongside fresh blood and hopefully new ideas.
Unfortunately when it comes to law firms, there aren't always a huge amount of reviews available. That's because whilst people are quite happy to jump online and rave about their new toaster, they aren't so quick to discuss their divorce, bankruptcy, debts, or criminal defence case. It's therefore not uncommon to see zero reviews for even established firms on Google, Trustpilot, Yelp, etc.
One thing people do comment on readily though when it comes to legal services - is property matters. This is important to note because in any property transaction there is usually at least one person unhappy with either the speed, cost, or issues that came up. Frankly many issues are totally outside your solicitor's control such as land searches, mortgage applications and so on. But when anything goes wrong, they get the blame. That's why some of the largest conveyancing expert firms in the whole UK often have very undeserved 2-3 star average review ratings. Very often a bunch of the negative reviews will be from the client of the other party. It's definitely something to keep in mind whenever you're checking for reviews about any firm that handles property matters.
"worked through the case very methodically but still managed to achieve the deadline needed"
"seamless, professional and very friendly service"
"always available when you need them and more importantly always happy to help"
On the whole the comments about Hawk Law are very positive towards the firm's staff, general attitude, and work ethic. As mentioned before though, make sure to read through the comments rather than just flicking through star ratings. Because we spotted a few negative comments that were followed by Hawkridge & Co stating that person was not a client of theirs.
A quick note on navigation because we are talking about a property dealing firm. As already pointed out in the last paragraph, the firm seems to be referred to quite interchangably online as both Hawk Law and Hawkridge & Company. The official website we link to above is www.hawklaw.co.uk with www.hawklaw.com being about some WWII land renovation project. Ampersands can't be in domain names so certainly you can't go to something like www.hawkridge&co.co.uk but all the other variants we checked such as www.hawkridge.co.uk or www.hawkridgeandco.co.uk were also owned by other firms.
This is important to note because over the past few years thousands of people have handed over millions of pounds to fraudsters. Sometimes over something as simple as a couple of offical looking emails telling them to pay their huge house deposit into a different bank account. Always make sure you're on the correct website and never discuss payments or bank details via email.
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 Hawkridge & Company it's best to visit the website (www.hawklaw.co.uk), 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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