OneLaw Chambers Info
OneLaw Chambers - Solicitors, Barristers & Advocates in London: Review
There have been a lot of negative moves by the government over the past two decades that have impacted the ability for regular people to obtain justice. The decimation of Legal Aid for a start. Fortunately, the legal industry itself has managed to bounce back with alternatives to keep the rusty wheels turning and allow those of us who aren't multi-million taking football celebrities to at least have some crumbs from the justice table.
For example, the creation of 'no win, no fee' arrangements for litigation matters such as personal injury, medical negligence, housing disrepair, and so on. This allowed clients to pursue cases against negligent third parties without having to be afraid of huge legal bills at the outset or if their case loses. Even more positively - this change encourages lawyers to be far more invested in each case as a win is important for them as well.
That being said, the government has come through with one positive move they can claim as a success, and that's Direct Access. Prior to this, if you needed a barrister to represent you in an actual court you would need to hire a solicitor who would then hire one on your behalf. It's not common knowledge, but not all solicitors are qualified to go into court and argue cases. A solicitor that helps you with your immigration application may still have to hire a barrister when it comes to fighting the matter further.
Direct Access, or Public Access as it's sometimes known, allows members of the public to skip that step and hire a barrister directly. This has the obviously advantage of saving huge amounts of time, hassle, and money. Barristers normally say very clearly on the front page of their website whether they can accept direct instructions.
Most law firms make claims like the one quoted above from the OneLaw website. Practically every firm will claim to be friendly and modern. So how do you know which ones are experienced, qualified, and right for you? There are of course several good resources to help you such as the various law societies. There are law societies based on the city, county, and country level.
OneLaw Chambers is registered with The Law Society of England & Wales which is a fantastic resource and the best we've seen out of such organisations in the UK. For each firm it provides user-side data including alternate trading names, all office addresses, other possible contact details, languages spoken, and more. It also provides the qualification dates and specialties of each legal professional within a firm.
OneLaw certainly has at least one other independent body backing up their claims as well, being listed in the Legal 500. That may sound like a large number of firms to be in a 'best of' list. However if you consider there are well over a hundred thousand law practices nationwide it does make the honour a little more niche. A list of the qualities and standards each firm on the Legal 500 list has to meet as a bare minimum is also available.
The main resource people tend to jump to when researching any professional service they're thinking of using is normally the prior customer reviews. When a company posts positive feedback they've received on their own website pages, it's usually listed as 'testimonials'. The biggest difference being that these are all very positive comments handpicked by the firm to appear on their website. They often sound very different from regular third party review forums as well. This is due to the fact most testimonials are obtained via some sort of post-service questionnaire.
"Very professional, very reliable."
"I'm happy with the work, process, service, progress and the result."
"explained the process and procedure in a very simple and clear manner"
These are snippets from a few of those testimonials on the OneLaw Chambers website. We ran a poll last year, though, which came back that only 8% of people trusted company-provided testimonials. That's understandable to us at least, and it's probably for the very reasons we pointed out their differences above. There are several independent review boards online such as Google, Trustpilot, Yell.com, Facebook and so on. So how do One Law's barristers fare on those:
"exceptionally professional, friendly, ready to attend to your call at anytime of the day"
"very knowledgeable and explained the whole process"
"argued amazing against the home office and he was great when speaking with the judge"
All very positive and most focusing on the theme of them being both friendly and expert in the case types they handled. Be careful when researching law firm reviews though. Unlike other industries such as leisure or retail - law firms can end up with negative comments from their competitors, the losing side in a case, and even people who were told their case was nonsense.
Personally, we think people leaving negative reviews for those reasons completely undermines the whole goal of review forums. With that in mind we always recommend people read actual comments left rather than simply flicking through the star ratings. For example, this morning the other law firm we wrote an article on had a 5 star rating for their 'excellent desserts'.
A quick note on navigation to ensure you get through to and always revisit the correct firm. Despite the two words being generic terms (i.e. 'one' and 'law') most search terms will bring up the firm at the top of results. Their main branding is the OneLaw Chambers name but some review sites and official pages list them as OneLaw Ltd. According to the law society website they have several trading names attached to them including OneLaw Solicitors, OneLaw Solicitors and Advocates, OneLaw Solicitors and Barristers. Something to keep in mind when researching or trying to find the firm again.
The official site we link to above is www.onelawchambers.com but www.onelawchambers.co.uk does not redirect you there. All of the common variants you'd expect such as www.onelawsolicitors.com / .co.uk also seem to be owned by different companies though not currently in use. The main problem in such situations is the possibility of phishing scams.
Right now the largest scam by far plaguing the legal industry is house deposit fraud. Scammers email property buying clients telling them the bank details for their deposit has changed and apparently thousands of people have simply sent the money to the fraudster's bank account without bothering to check with their solicitor first. £millions have been lost. So always make sure you're on the correct site and never discuss payments 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 OneLaw Chambers it's best to visit the website (www.onelawchambers.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 OneLaw Chambers article is rated
4.5 / 5 based on 29 reviews. †
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This list is updated by us every 6-12 months as new data is released. The Legal Ombudsman's complaints database can be viewed by anyone here »
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