White Collar Legal Info
White Collar Legal & Admin Ltd in Wirral, Merseyside: Review
Okay, so the following is not my most objective or impartial review of a firm. But after 20 years working in the legal industry and thousands of articles, I think my opinions should be allowed to leak out from time to time. Having also just passed the big four-oh, I'll probably be leaking more and more in the coming years anyway ...
We get dozens of communications a day about joining the 1to1Legal network from various firms handling a range of case types from all parts of the UK and ROI. Every single one is checked out to see if they will be a good fit. But we're not a directory.
All the firms we accept onto the panel are firms we think will enhance the network and provide extra useful choices for people seeking legal help.
What first appealed to us with White Collar Legal is probably the same thing everyone who visits their website goes "... oh!" about:
It's written in large print, right at the top of the main page. It's the kind of thing that, when you see it, you suddenly want a law passed so that every law firm has to post their average hourly rate. Of course such rules usually don't work out as you'd expect - (e.g. APR on finance and sugar content in food). So what else can we compare instead?
Whilst flicking through various law sites, you may have noticed some asking you to follow their Twitter feed or 'Like' them on Facebook. Some firms definitely try too hard to be trendy whilst others almost regress, focusing on their 200+ year history and their founder Mr William Whittington-Smith-Smythe III. White Collar Legal sit neatly in the middle. They certainly have all the expected social profiles, but they are mentioned peripherally around the website.
The owner's profile isn't full of hobbies, favourite books, or pet's names either. That's not an exaggeration - there genuinely are a large amount of solicitor site profiles packed with personal information in an attempt to seem more approachable. White Collar director Philip Nam's profile states his more than a dozen years of legal and administrative experience in advocacy, consumer law, contracts, employment, legal costs and more. He has Specialist Paralegal Qualifications in Civil Litigation and Personal Injury, holding a general practising certificate as a Tier 4 Member of the Professional Paralegal Register. If you're a legal professional, the PPP site is worth a few minutes of your time.
This is another standout sentence to bear in mind, as there are varying types of experience when it comes to law. I've done a fair bit of court work myself on both sides and behind the scenes. Enough to have seen plenty of veteran-but-desk-bound solicitors run rings round by younger legal professionals who practically live in the court room.
Let's be honest, when it comes to legal services - White Collar Ltd being established in 2013 sounds like the paint hasn't even dried yet when compared to the "established in 1801" dates some solicitors come up with. Is there enough history and information out there to make an informed decision?
Certainly there are review sites, but try and avoid the un-managed ones that allow anyone with a grudge to take up the entire page with capital letters and exclamation marks. We found a good selection on CheckaProfessional.com where White Collar Legal has a 10/10 rating from 16 reviews going back to April 2015. We also found the firm listed on BusinessApprovalRegister.com which purports to be a list of companies approved by Trading Standards. (However the B.A.R. site's owner is a private businessman, the website is a Limited company, and there isn't much readily available information as to what being 'approved' actually means?) As White Collar themselves are also a Ltd company though, there is lots of public information available such as on the Companies House website.
The list of services offered is quite extensive considering, offering help with financial mis-selling, landlord/tenant disputes, personal injury, wills, etc. Then underneath the list it states:
If it sounds like we're being overly positive about what seems to be a very small, new firm with a limited range of legal access that may end up passing people on to a solicitor or barrister anyway - then take a look at it from another perspective. With an hourly rate that is almost 70% less than a typical solicitor, White Collar's setup and abilities should not be seen as "less than" a 100-staff legal practice. It's "more than" the Citizen's Advice Bureau. Way, way more.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau may be free, but it is awful. Most of the time you are 'helped' by someone who has just quit their job stacking shelves at Morrisons. Their new job is merely to show you how to look up information on the CAB's website. After one hour in a CAB office, White Collar (Legal and Admin) Ltd will suddenly seem like a godsend. Plus with the huge cuts in Legal Aid every year, we certainly hope that more setups like the one Philip Nam has created start appearing across the country to help mitigate the increasing shortfall in legal assistance.
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 White Collar Legal it's best to visit the website (www.whitecollarlegalandadmin.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 White Collar Legal article is rated
4.6 / 5 based on 19 reviews. †
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