Meresbrook Pollard Solicitors Info
Meresbrook Pollard Solicitors in Bradford: Review
If you've come to 1to1Legal before to read informational reviews about firms, this one is going to have a couple of firsts. Not only does Meresbrook Pollard have a unique case range that we've not seen elsewhere, but the reason we wanted them on our network and are recommending them to you - involves a considerable amount of 'intuition'.
Why should you trust our gut about this firm? We've been working with solicitors for 20+ years at the time of writing this. We've done work for hundreds of them, are regularly in contact with hundreds more, and are connected to thousands more across social media. Have we been wrong before? Yes. But here's what we did discover about this particular firm:
Their case range includes Immigration (e.g. spouse/family/student visas), Civil Litigation (e.g. employment/family law), and Criminal Law (e.g. drugs, poca proceedings, benefit fraud, etc.). Why is that unique? Because we've never seen a firm targeting those three as their core. That's probably because they generally involve considerable work, a lot of time spent with the client, yet do not have the highest financial return. But whilst the two main solicitors of the firm have a combined history of 20 years, and whilst Meresbrook Pollard has been around since 2011 - there is not a lot of information about them across the web for us to research or quote.
However, we also couldn't find any negative information about this firm. There are no news scandals. There are no lists of negative reviews on the regular review sites. There isn't even a single complaint in the Legal Ombudsman's database against them (we've gone through 8,000+ complaint records). There's also a distinct lack of self-promoting material. No photo opportunities of the staff feeding homeless people, no self-released 'news stories' with plenty of flattering descriptions of the firm. That's partly where 'intuition' comes into play. Here's more:
"At Meresbrook Pollard Solicitors we focus on detail and believe in thorough preparation as a key feature of our service and offer an initial thirty minute interview free of charge at the outset."
Firms that offer any free consultation are getting rarer, and sometimes that free time is not with an actual solicitor anyway. So this is a good start.
"We are based in West Yorkshire in the heart of the community and pride ourselves on being a local firm for local people."
This is another claim often made by firms. However, it is not uncommon for firms that claim to be locally-minded to not actually cover case types that require them to work with local people at all. For MeresbrookPollard, cases like criminal law are mostly local cases. Only the super rich will hire an expensive London expert, then fly them up to Bradford to visit them at the police station and go to court. Also, with Yorkshire's immigrant population having doubled in the past decade, it would be hard to imagine this firm having to advertise outside of the area for immigration clients either. Word of mouth may suffice.
"We work on a fixed fee basis which ensures that our clients are aware from the outset as to what their legal fees will be."
That statement isn't actually on their website. We found it posted in the About sections of their social media profiles. Why they don't state it strongly on their website we're not sure, because it's a fairly important feature. With hourly solicitor rates often being around £150, knowing the exact cost beforehand and that it won't increase over time is important.
They also apparently provide discounts to NHS staff and the Armed Forces. As you can tell from the links, this is information we spotted on some third party websites that specialise in locating such discounts. We didn't find it mentioned on the firm's own site, so be sure to ask if those offers are still available. At the moment, many law firms are struggling due to the huge changes taking place. More than 1000 solicitors had to close up shop last year alone. So if Meresbrook Pollard do need to remove this offer at some point, or if these sites were displaying the promotion well past the date promised - then don't hold it against them. Rather, appreciate the fact that such discounts were offered at all.
The language on the website is actually pretty standard. They state an aim of providing a "professional, friendly and reliable service" with a "caring approach" that pushes them to "go the extra mile". They promise "thorough preparation" to provide you with a "tailor-made solution" whilst "keeping you informed at every stage of your case". They set a high bar for themselves, which will say will be achieved because of their "highly qualified and experienced professionals" providing the "highest quality service" to the "highest calibre".
They also promise to do all this whist being "non judgmental". Having worked in immigration/asylum myself for a couple of years, not being judgmental is something many people involved find hard to do. I certainly was not prepared for the levels of false information and types of deception I encountered. A lot of the case workers I spoke to genuinely struggled to stay open-minded after a while.
So that brings us back to our gut feeling about this firm. The two primary solicitors are Zahida Alam who qualified as a solicitor in 2004, and Shazia Sarwar who qualified as a solicitor in 2011. I've spoken with both of them over the phone and they genuinely do sound like the "friendly" people they call themselves on their website. With the promise of the 30 minute free interview, the lofty goals they aspire to, the fact no-one seems to have anything negative to say about them, the fixed fees, and so on - we hope you'll agree that at least a phone call is in order to gauge for yourself how experienced, friendly, and willing they sound about your particular case.
Last few notes: It is not mentioned on the website that they handle personal injury claims, but they do. They also cover licensing (e.g. taxis, liquor, gaming, etc.) which is mentioned only briefly on an inner page, so you might miss it. "Meresbrook Pollard Solicitors" and "Meresbrook Pollard Ltd" are the same people. We couldn't find any information on why they are called Meresbrook Pollard, but they wouldn't be the first firm to just pick a name they like the sound of. ;)
On navigation, the web address is quite long which isn't always great. Especially if you're trying to type it in with your thumb on a mobile. The official address is www.meresbrookpollardsolicitors.co.uk, not www.meresbrookpollard.co.uk, and the common variants of those - www.meresbrookpollardsolicitors.com and www.meresbrookpollard.com - don't seem to be owned by the firm either. We highly recommend that you bookmark the site once you're on it for that reason. We also had trouble with some bits on the site which were in Flash which is no longer supported on some browsers, especially tablets and mobile devices. Of course, that could have been cleared up by the time you read this, but unfortunately the fact that their website is not mobile friendly and uses Flash is something of note considering how prolific the use of these devices are.
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 Meresbrook Pollard Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.meresbrookpollardsolicitors.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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