Waterstone Solicitors Info
Waterstone Solicitors in London: Review
I know I repeat this a lot, but our aim here at 1to1Legal is to ensure people are not only aware of the different choices available to them - but to also point out a few options along the way. Most people have their own ideas about the type of solicitor they want on their case. For motor offences they may be looking for a "Mr Loophole". For family law they may prefer a female solicitor. For personal injury they may want a firm that promises fast turnaround. Either way, we like to have a range of different firms on our network just in case.
So why the information deja vu? I want to make sure that you consider the pros and cons of the various setups and approaches on offer. So that when I say something like 'they are a relatively new firm', you'll actually carry on reading rather than dismiss them in favour of 'Stalwart McHighstreet Solicitors established in 1066 by a British bulldog singing Jerusalem' ... if you get my meaning.
First the basics. According to their website, the firm covers a wide range of case types including Immigration, Asylum, Human Rights, Family & Children legal matters, Landlord/Tenants Housing Disputes, Commercial Property, and Wills/Probate. The website is clearly laid out, mobile-friendly, plenty of information, and they even have social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
We always like to see staff profiles on law firm sites and Waterstones doesn't disappoint. Whilst there are currently no photos, there are good chunks of data on most of the solicitors. For example, the Senior Partner Shah Jahir Ali started his legal career back in 2004 and has worked for big names such as Nokia and Motorola. Another, Nazrul Islam, is described as a "passionate Human Rights Activist" who qualified from City University London in 2006 after already gaining legal experience in other countries. There's also Shah M Rahman who only qualified as a solicitor in 2012, but has several degrees and diplomas to his name with history of jobs and hobbies that are community based.
It may be tempting to dismiss much of the website's wording as cliche sales-talk, such as:
Which probably sounds exactly like the last dozen solicitor's sites you've seen today. However, it doesn't take much concentration to find some differences between the lines. Take this statement for example:
Yes, practically every single law firm will say something about providing the best service at a competitive price. But at the core here is the statement 'developing law firm'. Aside from the honesty of such an upfront statement regarding their new-ness - it is also true that an established firm with a huge core base and organic influx of clients does not have to ensure that every single client is 100% happy with both the cost and service they've been provided. A new firm certainly does. This is not speculation either. There are enough old people here at 1to1Legal to have required the aid of legal services on multiple occasions. I've used large, small, old, and new firms myself.
Remember though, that when we say 'new' firm we're talking 'relative' amongst an industry where it's common for firms to state a 100+ year heritage - no matter how tenuous and despite the fact you may still end up in a room with a trainee. (100-year-old firms still have new people working for them.)
Our experience on Waterstone's site was not flawless though. I wasn't a big fan of the testimonials which seemed almost identical in content with "they are the best in east London", "this is one of best law firm in east London", "highly recommended law firm in the region", and "one of the best Law firms in London". And those weren't the only source of repetition. On visiting a few third party review sites the exact same reviews were repeated over and over again. Even though they might be genuine reviews and each person really did decide to go on several review site - it doesn't look great. But whenever you do come across this, don't instantly assume that the law firm themselves are going around placing fake reviews. Quite often it's the work of a third party marketing firm that was hired and then summarily fired.
On balance though, there is a lot to be said for the way they have set themselves up on line. Reading the staff profiles, they sound more like a proud parent than a typical CV. The firm also focuses on areas of law that are more emotionally rewarding than financially. For example, they don't cover personal injuries which are often simple cases reaping huge payouts for very little work. They're certainly more lucrative than Wills and Immigration. Even the fact some of the firm's staff have been qualified as solicitors in the UK for less than a decade is tempered by the fact they were previously involved in legal work abroad - which can't hurt if you need an Immigration solicitor.
So as I said at the start, if this kind of wording on the site:
doesn't convince you. Then dig a little deeper. There's a fair bit of positivity going on between the lines. As for navigation, www.waterstonesolicitors.com is the official site we link to above and www.waterstonesolicitors.co.uk has no current website displayed. We see the most common error as being www.waterstonessolicitors.com as it's very typical to put an 's' on the end of the firm's name in speech. But neither that web address or the www.waterstonessolicitors.co.uk version is even owned right now. To be sure, it's always advisable to bookmark a solicitor's site when you know you're on the correct one. Especially when it comes to property matters and money moving around.
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 Waterstone Solicitors it's best to visit the website (www.waterstonesolicitors.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.
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