Swain & Co Solicitors Ltd Info
Swain & Co Solicitors Ltd in Southampton, Liverpool & Havant: Review
Our last article was about a firm that used different trading names from the same office address. The article before that was about a firm that has merged four times causing big branding changes each time. Then the article before that one was on a huge network of firms that still retained independence but all were placing a matching two-word branding before all their names (i.e. QualitySolicitors). Now we come to a firm with several separate offices but different names for some of them.
Quite often when a firm merges with another they will either merge the names too or simply drop one to move forward with the most recognisable/strong branding out of the two. Retaining a smaller local brand name for each area can make a huge difference. Having the resources of a larger firm can also have advantages. So are Swain & Co Solicitors part of a law group seeking strength from both?
Certainly Swain & Co stands out clearly as an individual firm rather than just a branding exercise under a parent name. They have their own companies house registration page and they are registered separately with their local law society too.
However the best website for getting information about a law firm in our opinion is The Law Society of England & Wales. They provide a wealth of user side data including all alternate trading names, other office locations, languages spoken at the firm, case types covered, and qualification dates of each solicitor within the firm.
Practically every law firm makes a claim about have the best, most expert, and most experienced legal professionals on their staff. Thankfully you can actually check this claim if the firm is registered with the English/Welsh law society. On this occasion though all the information is listed under the main branding/parent firm in the group called Young & Co Solicitors. So to check up on the information on your local office, just click the appropriate office link and select 'in this office'.
For example in Havant (near Portsmouth) they list a range of staff including Samantha Lee who qualified as a solicitor in 1995, Kelly Applegate in 2000, Tina Smith in 2013, right up to Kara Babbage who just joined the legal profession in 2021. That's a considerable range of experience between them but it should also be a good mix of seasoned wise heads alongside fresh eager ideas.
Law firms tend to focus on writing lots of good sales pitch statements on their website. They usually include words like 'modern', 'friendly', or 'one of the leading' which all sound great but actually don't tell you anything about the firm itself. We've been writing about and working with law firms for over twenty years now. So take it from us that it's statements like the above about any flexible payment options which people should really be paying attention to. Those kind of sections surely say more about a firm than any intro marketing jargon or a thousand photos of people in suits smiling and shaking hands.
For a start there are hardly any law firms left willing to work under Legal Aid. We have over 200 firms in our database at the moment and only 22 of them will help with Legal Aid. Since the 90s the government has gutted the Legal Aid system reducing the number of people that can use it, the number of case types it will cover, and the amount of money a solicitor can earn from it. So if a firm accepts Legal Aid clients at all, then that's an instant brownie point from us.
"I can't praise Swain & Co and Dean Kingham enough."
"I would like to thank you really very very much from the bottom of my heart for your work."
"Thank you so much for the care and attention that I received from you all."
Putting general site content aside for a moment, the main thing people tend to use as a gauge when choosing a service provider - is prior customer reviews. The above are snippets from the firm's own testimonial page. Testimonials always look different from third party review site comments because they are typically a page of positive-only messages from people the firm have hand chosen. Often after a specific feedback form has been filled out. They are usually much more full of praise too, which is probably why only 8% of you voted in our poll year saying you took company-own testimonials into account. So how do Swain & Co look on the public forums?
"My son has been released from prison after 12+ years of an IPP sentence"
"very good as they explain everything letting you know what's going to happen"
"outstanding for communication and were always available"
There are a considerable number of positive reviews there too across Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, Yell.com and so on. Remember, though, that if you search for the firm name only when researching a law office you may get pages of general reviews about the company as a whole. If you want more specific information about your local office, you need to include the town name when you search - e.g. "swain and co havant reviews".
There were quite a few negative complaints about the company on the Google review pages. But we always recommend reading actual comments rather than relying on simple star ratings when it comes to law firms. Unlike restaurants, hairdressers, or local pubs - legal professional get negative reviews for the strangest things. For example, if you saw a negative 1-star review for Burger King complaining that they don't serve pizza - you would think the reviewer was nuts. But that happens constantly for law firms. People seeking help with divorce will tell people to 'AVOID!!' a Criminal Law specialist. One reviewer for Swain & Co even ranted about how 'ugly' the staff were and that they should get rid of any mirrors. That's just plain rude. There are unhelpful positive reviews too, such as:
"Food and service, top notch"
But if you read through the actual comments such as the second one down in the list of public snippets above and this excerpt from the site's testimonials:
There are often statements and words that give you a general 'feel' about a firm - such as on this occasion with Swain and Co's involvement in Prison Law. That's why even though the public review system has massive flaws, if used well it can still be a great tool
A quick note on navigation considering the varied brand names. The branding of these three offices is Swain & Co Solicitors Ltd who are part of Young and Co Solicitors Ltd (that's the 'Y' on the edge of the logo). Young and Co have their own branded location though so any research is probably best served using the actual Swain&Co trading name. The official site we link to is www.swainandco.com but www.swainandco.co.uk is for a different firm. Also be aware that ampersands cannot be in web addresses so there will never be a www.swain&co.com / .co.uk address. Entering such will bring up an error or redirect you elsewhere depending on what browser you are using.
Their site is https secure for entering your personal details in their contact form. Whilst most scams at the moment tend to involve conveyancing matters, you never know what fraudsters might come up with next to just make sure you end up on the correct site and never discuss payment details 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 Swain & Co Solicitors Ltd it's best to visit the website (www.swainandco.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 Swain & Co Solicitors Ltd article is rated
4.8 / 5 based on 31 reviews. †
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