MacLachlan Solicitors Ltd Info
MacLachlan Solicitors Ltd in Gillingham Sherborne & Shaftesbury, Dorset: Review
There's a lot to like about MacLachlan Solicitors when checking out their virtual shop window. A lot of the cliches and common exaggerations we see on most firm's websites are happily missing.
For example, we often see firms stating they have 50, 100, or more "years of experience". However quite often this number is gained from adding all the staff's experience together (e.g. 5 staff members with 10 years experience equalling 50 years of combined experience). This distinction is not always made clear. MacLachlan simply state their firm opened in 1998.
This too is nicely honest though, because the majority of firms feel very inadequate about their establishment date if it's not very long. (Metaphor not intended.) During our 20 years in the industry we've seen the most tenuous links used to exaggerate shorter timelines. One firm genuinely stated they had a 150 year history in the area simply because they moved into office space previously occupied by a firm with that length of history.
Is an establishment date in the 1800s important? Not in the slightest. A 50-year-old firm might give your case to a 1-year qualified solicitor and a 1-year-old firm might give your case to their 50-year experienced veteran. That's why firms who allow you to speak to your actual solicitor BEFORE deciding to go ahead are the best to contact.
As you'll probably have noticed yourself, it's very common these days for firms to list staff profiles on their site. MacLachlan do this but also list the direct phone numbers and email addresses for each. That's a bigger deal than you might think. However we would like to have seen at least a couple of sentences on each person describing their experience and specialities. Hopefully they'll have done that by the time you're reading this. Certainly there's a fair bit to boast about considering that some of their solicitors have 25-30 years experience having qualified in the 90s. (We don't need to know their favourite colours or pet's names though.)
So what are people saying about them? Well, the standard testimonial pages many solicitors come up with usually consisting of three or four perfectly spelled and verbose reviews that almost seem written by the firm themselves. MacLachlans don't do that. Their testimonials are quite short and the type of thing you'd probably put on one of those customer survey cards some companies hand you as you're leaving the premises. I'm not saying that's a negative thing, just pointing out that they seem a lot more genuine despite the repetitive sentiments:
"We really appreciated the excellent advice and support."
"Very impressed will highly recommend."
"...I would be happy to use your firm again."
"... we will be using your practice again."
What you might find odd is that there are zero reviews of the firm across the regular independent review sites such as Yell.com, Yelp, Facebook, Trustpilot, etc. Even Google Reviews only has 2 comments. Is that a bad sign? Not really. How do we know? Because we've been established for over 20 years and you won't find reviews of our service in those places either.
It's actually unusual for people to review their solicitor unless something bad happened. People review restaurants, camp sites, and other leisure things all the time. But unless they had a negative experience or have been encouraged by the firm to go and leave a review - the number of people that take the time to comment on their solicitor to Yellow Pages is pretty low.
One thing you might not have considered as a positive point, or even noticed, is the fact Maclachlans have a very unusual case range. You get specialist firms for things like criminal law or property, and you get general practice firms that handle everything from personal injury to wills. But Debt Recovery, Employment Law, Motoring Offences, Powers of Attorney and Residential Property are a mix we've never seen at any other law firm, ever.
This brings me back to why it's always a good idea for firms to list each staff member's speciality. You can often find this information on The Law Society's website, but it can sometimes be a pain to find. However, if you follow this link you'll see that each of the firm's solicitors specialise in those case types - i.e. they stick to what they know and are good at.
A quick note on navigation because whilst typing this review I must have spelled 'maclachlan' wrong about half a dozen times ... and I'm Scottish. As the firm deals with property and there are still stories going around about the bank details scams, make sure you are definitely on the official website we link to above whenever contacting the firm. www.maclachlansolicitors.com is not owned by them. Neither are www.maclachlan.co.uk or www.maclachlan.com, and we didn't even try common mis-spellings like machlachlan solicitors let alone get into hyphenated versions. They have 3 locations in Dorset - Gillingham, Sherborne & Shaftesbury - all contact details are on the 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 MacLachlan Solicitors Ltd it's best to visit the website (www.maclachlansolicitors.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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