rhw Solicitors LLP Info
rhw Solicitors LLP in Guildford, Surrey: Review
If you haven't read any of our other reviews before this one, then the fact I'm relieved to be writing a simple review about a very straightforward firm - may come as a shock. But in reality the number of firms trying to be too trendy or being stuck in the technical dark ages, is more common than you might think.
rhw Solicitors Ltd is based in Guildford, Surrey and if you do a quick search on the name you'll see it was set up back in 2009. This may be confusing with the firm's website stating a 180 year history, but again - this is quite common. Even though they may have only become a limited company within the past decade, many firms can trace roots back much further depending on the original founders or even just a good merger:
Ta-da. The main areas of expertise for the firm are listed as Family Law, Disputes, Wills, Corporate Law, Conveyancing, and Employment Law. There is a wider range available and links to pages about each case type and sub-category are available on the website. Their site is considerably more in-depth than most. They have a blog, but most law firm blogs are of little interest to members of the general public with lives to live. However, there are numerous guides on the site with titles such as "Settlement Agreements - A quick guide", "The Hidden Pitfalls Of Do-It-Yourself Divorce", and "Lawful Monitoring of Employees' Emails".
We always sing the praises of firms that list staff profiles, and rhw go the whole hog with photos, history, hobbies, etc. but most importantly - personal contact details including a direct telephone number and email address for each solicitor. This kind of open-ness goes a long way to encouraging faith that you won't constantly be fobbed off by a secretary and the words "sorry, they're in a meeting ..."
Two of the main profiles available at the time of writing are Nick Richardson and Samantha Jago. There is a wealth of information about Samantha if you search her name on the web, but the site describes her as having been born in Guildford, qualified as a solicitor in 2005, joining rhw in 2008, and currently a member partner working in the firm's Family Law department.
Nick Richardson on the other hand has apparently been in practice since 1984 and currently heads up the firm's commercial services team dealing with joint ventures, shareholders' agreements, commercial agreements and buying/selling businesses.
(I wasn't kidding about the hobbies thing.) Unlike some other sites, you can't search by speciality to read through the profiles of people that might be handling your particular case type. But often the individual's department is at least noted under their name.
rhw Solicitors are clearly charity-minded, with a dedicated page on their website about the main charities they help including Challengers, Oakleaf, Guildford YMCA, and The Royal Surrey County Hospital's Charitable Fund. They do this through various means such as "dress down Fridays" but we also spotted a JustGiving entry from some year's back to raise funds for the Surrey Law Centre. Sadly from our experience Citizen's Advice Bureaus around the UK lack the facilities, funding, or staff to provide any meaningful assistance to people with legal issues. Legal Aid is also cut year on year despite protests from all sides. So absolutely 100% do we agree with their fund-raising statement of:
Does it sound like we're saying too many positive things about this firm? Well, it's hard not to be taken in by the overall impression they give. Even little things like stating they are an "alternative to some of the impersonal law firms based in London" is tough to argue with having visited London on several occasions. (Just kidding. We love Londoners. Honest!)
We're not the only ones though. A quick search for reviews shows a generally positive attitude. Reviews stretch as far back as 2011, but most sites display several 5 star reviews with only 1 very poor review coming up. Checking the Legal Ombudsman's database, again there is only one complaint registered against rhw and that's back in 2015 resulting in no action being taken against the firm.
Just be careful when it comes to navigating to their website. We link to www.rhw.co.uk above, but the www.rhw.com site is for a completely different company. Also typical variants such as www.rhwsolicitors.co.uk or www.rhwsolicitors.com are currently blank, so it's probably a good idea to bookmark the site once you know you're on it just to be safe. Especially as the firm handles property sales and there has been increasing news coverage of the scam artists pretending to be property solicitors.
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 rhw Solicitors LLP it's best to visit the website (www.rhw.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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