Walker Foster Solicitors Info
Walker Foster Ltd Solicitors in Skipton, Barnoldswick, Silsden, Settle, Ilkley, Northallerton & Harrogate: Review
We're bombarded with marketing at every turn. Sadly, the up and coming generation doesn't seem as savvy when it comes to spotting an advert. That's probably more to do with how clever marketing has become rather than our kids being more gullible. Remember, at one point people believed smoking was good for you.
Ironically we review law firms. But hopefully the information we provide is helpful generally. For an example today we'll use the firm Walker Foster who describe themselves as:
at the top of their main page. This immediately gives the impression of a large, well-established firm. That's good. Why? Because a lot of law firms will state 'we are a large well-established firm' along with a bunch of other claims without actually indicating why that is so. How many times have you read 'award winning' with no mention of what the award was for? If it was for best logo design then it's clearly not an award that will help you decide which legal services to use. We're not a fan of founding date claims either, but that's a discussion for another article.
This statement, also from their website, sounds great. But you've probably seen alot of good words on other firm's websites too such as 'modern', 'friendly', or 'experienced'. The thing to watch for is whether that helps you distinguish one firm from another. If all firms claim to be modern, friendly, and experienced (which they will because none will claim to be unfriendly, out of date, or inexperienced) then it's not useful information for decision making.
So what can you do? There are several independent ways of checking up on a firm but you're going to have to do some leg work rather than rely on the firm to tell you what you want to know. The Law Society of England & Wales has an amazing site rivalling anything their counterpart organisations currently offer. That's a big bit of praise considering we're a old Scottish company.
The Law Society is the organisation that issues these accreditations. They are something to watch for on law firm's websites. If they have one, they will definitely mention it or have the CQS stamp displayed - usually at the bottom of every page. But the Law Society also provides consumers with detailed information about each company. If you look up the page for any firm you'll be shown contact details, alternative trading names, office locations, plus the areas of expertise and qualification dates of every registered solicitor within the firm.
For example at Walker Foster they show solicitors with qualifications spanning the past four decades including Keith Hardington who qualified in 1995, Maxine Heppenstall in 2002, Danielle Harps in 2015, right up to Lee Kirby who joined the profession in 2022. That's a wide range of seasoned heads with fresh eyes (no offense to the eyesight of the older staff, it's just an expression). You can do this for any firm registered with the Law Society.
"We appreciated her prompt replies to any of our queries"
"very kind, supportive and efficient"
"kept up to date at all stages of the process"
Obviously one of the most common things people do is check out reviews of firms on public boards such as Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, etc. These are some snippets and they are clearly positive. When looking these up though, Google has made some changes. You can't see reviews of the company as a whole any more. You need to search for reviews on each individual office - e.g. 'walker foster skipton'.
Aside from verifying a firm's experience and comments on them, there are often some things which we think sets one firm apart from another. Walker Foster has a staff page on their website where you can read about each individual staff member but they also provide direct contact details for each. That's a big positive in our opinion. They also have example prices publicly displayed on their website rather than just saying to call for a quote. That's more rare than you might expect.
They also offer a range of downloadable information leaflets which seems a nice touch. Of course, as a larger firm they have a larger amount of resources and time to sort these things. That does not dismiss the great qualities of smaller or even newer firms that might not offer such on their website. These are just some ideas on what to notice about a firm rather than relying on the sales-pitch.
A quick note on navigation. The official site is www.walkerfoster.com although there is a mirror site on www.walkerfoster.co.uk it is currently showing as not-https secure. The .com version is https-secure though for submitting your personal details on their contact form. You need to be extra vigilant when it comes to property matters and ensure you are on the correct website and talking to a genuine staff member. Far too many people have handed their house deposit to fraudsters after just one official looking email pretending to be from their conveyancer.
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 Walker Foster Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.walkerfoster.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 Walker Foster Solicitors article is rated
4.5 / 5 based on 30 reviews. †
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