R James Hutcheon Solicitors Info
R James Hutcheon Solicitors - Law Firm in Liverpool: Review
There is an unbelievably huge number of personal injury firms out there. On top of that there are hundreds of third party firms that will 'manage' your case. Worst of all are the people who don't do either and just act as if they are personal injury specialists in order to get your personal details so they can sell them on to an actual solicitor - i.e. those phone calls you keep getting asking about car accidents you haven't even been in.
How can you tell them apart? How can you tell which one is best for you? Or are they all pretty much the same? It's true that for many smaller claims there are average claim amounts that insurers and claims firms pretty much agree on without much argument. For example, if you've been injured in a car accident resulting in whiplash that gave you pain for a couple of weeks - it's not as if one firm might get you £3,000 and another get you £10,000.
If you've read any of our other review articles, you'll know that any firm we add to the 1to1Legal network has something about it we like that made them stand out. So what do we like and dislike about R James Hutcheon Solicitors.
Every law firm has these kinds of phrases and sales-pitches across their website. Unfortunately, the bits and pieces that we think are really important are often a couple of pages in, only hinted at, or sometimes not even mentioned at all. For example, R James Hutcheon Solicitors' opening hours are 9.30am-7pm Mon-Fri. To us, and probably a lot of other people, that's something to boast about considering the basic 9-5pm most other law firms still archaically hang on to.
Again this may seem like a common phrase that every personal injury firm uses. However a lot of people are under the impression that 'no win, no fee' and '100% compensation' mean the same thing. They don't. No win, no fee means that if your case loses you won't have to pay anything. But if your case wins, the solicitor may take up to a 25% cut of your settlement. '100% compensation' means that win or lose you have absolutely nothing to pay your solicitor. They will have the third party cover your legal costs as well. From the Hutcheons Law site:
One thing we've always tried to get across regarding claims such as Medical Negligence or Catastrophic/Life-Changing Injuries, is you really do need an experienced firm. If the firm's website doesn't at least mention your case type on their front page, then it is likely it's not something they are either seeking or handling on a regular basis. If you find a firm with a full page of information regarding how they handle your case type, then that's a good sign.
R James Hutcheon Solicitors go beyond niche covering a range of case types you'll rarely see sought after by other practices such as Mercedes-Benz Diesel Emissions Compensation. They also advertise the handling of much trickier case types such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims. They're even already moving into the area of Coronavirus (COVID-19) compensation for:
Another major factor to consider when choosing the right firm for you, is the experience of the firm. Beware of law practices touting ancient founding dates. Just because there's a big speech about them being 'established in 1885!' doesn't mean there is a 175-year-old solicitor behind the desk acting as an all-knowing guru to everyone else there. There is just as much chance that you'll get a 1-year-experienced solicitor from a 10-year-old firm as there is from a 100-year-old firm.
You can always check the experience and expertise of most legal professionals using their area's Law Society database. For example, the page for this firm lists the primary solicitor Ronald James Hutcheon as having qualified back in 1993. So when they make this claim on their website:
It's actually very acurate. Why is that a big deal? Because there's a lot of sneaky marketing jargon used these days for such things. For example if a site says 'with 40 years experience within the firm' or something like '40 years of combined experience' - they don't mean that one of the staff has at least 40 years experience under their belt. It usually means they've added up the experience years of all the staff. 6 x solicitors in the firm with 3 years experience each = 'nearly 20 years of combined experience'. See what I did there?
Most law firms have testimonials dotted around or even a full page dedicated to them. Last year we ran a poll and it turned out that only 21% of people actually trusted testimonials on company websites. Not just the legal industry either - in general. There are dozens of third party places to scour some reviews from such as Google, Yelp, Trustpilot, Yell.com and so on. We would only recommend using ones that allow reviewers to leave comments though.
There is a definite theme amongst the independent reviews like these ones we've copied in above. Clear communication and speedy work seem to be the most talked about. We didn't notice any glaring signs of fraudulent reviews either - i.e. reviews that have clearly been posted by the company themselves. Those are normally easy to spot though. For example if there are twenty 5 star reviews all posted within a few days of each other two years ago by reviewers who have all only ever posted that one review and not any about other companies.
One thing we're not very fond of are compensation calculators. We think they can be very misleading and they reduce the claims to simply being a money-fixes-everything mentality which we're against. R James Hutcheon Solicitors don't go that far, but they do have a 'How much are you worth' section which to us seems along the same lines. If you do see an actual compensation calculator on a firm's site though, don't bother with it. It's unlikely to have any bearing on your individual injury and may mislead you into rejecting a perfectly good law firm simply because they estimated a far more reasonable number when asked.
Navigating can also get a little confusing if you're trying to research the firm yourself. For example, the firm is called R James Hutcheon Solicitors but the website is www.hutcheonlaw.co.uk (www.hutcheonlaw.com does not redirect you there) with the Hutcheon Law name mentioned a few times across it as well. Also The Law Society page we link to above will link you to a law firm called Hadcalry Ltd, although thankfully that branding does not appear to have it's own website. They all have the same address, and either of the Hutcheon names should bring up relevant information/reviews/etc.
With the various terms we tried on search engines, the correct website did show up at the top the majority of the time but Google did show ads above it for a few of them. Plus none of the variants we tried such as www.hutcheonsolicitors.co.uk / .com seemed to be owned by anyone yet. We would therefore recommend bookmarking the site if you plan on returning to it just in case. Whilst scammers tend to target mostly property law firms trying to get large amounts put in wrong bank accounts, you never know what they're going to think of next.
In all though, we hope you can see why we wanted to add this firm to our network and the solicitor search function. They can at least back up their front page statement of:
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 R James Hutcheon Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.hutcheonlaw.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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