That Old Adage - 'Be Prepared'
Published: 3 June 2016
Author: Claire Rutter
The first appointment with a legal advisor gives you the chance to explore your options and clarify the best way to move forward without worrying about how much it will cost.
Here at Burn & Co Solicitors, we offer a free of charge initial advice appointment which is without obligation and in complete confidence. You may want to discuss issues relating to divorce and separation or matters concerning your children; alternatively you might wish to consider making a Will before going on holiday, need help in relation to the recovery of a debt or how to receive compensation for breach of contract or employment related issues- we can help.
In any event, you may just want to know where you stand, or if you have a case and before taking any action you want peace of mind and so decide to seek the advice of a solicitor. The main question is how can you make the most of this opportunity? We asked the team here at Burn and Co Solicitors to share some of their tips for making that first visit as stress free as possible.
Have all of the relevant legal documents ready. The more information you can supply us with, the better we can advise you on the day. It will be treated with the utmost confidence and ensures you get the most accurate advice from the start.
Prepare your questions. Write down everything that you might want to ask when you see your legal advisor. No matter how small or how stupid you may think it is. Everyone is familiar with the feeling of walking out of the door before remembering something you never got around to. Writing your questions down beforehand can help to prevent this happening and enable you to make the most of your first appointment.
Check that you are up to date with your identity documents (passport, driving licence, utility bill or bank statement). If you decide to instruct on the day this will prevent you from having to come back with it at a later date, delaying the process.
On the day
Plan to arrive early. You may need to complete a new client questionnaire or other relevant paperwork. Getting it done beforehand means that it doesn’t eat into valuable appointment time. It can also be helpful to write down contact telephone numbers before leaving the house, just in case your train gets cancelled or you are stuck in traffic.
Read and understand any paperwork before signing. Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not clear on the details. We are here to help and support you throughout the process.
Take the contact details of your advisor before leaving. If there is anything you have forgotten to ask, or you feel a little unclear about an issue afterwards, knowing the name and number of who you spoke to will make following up a much easier process.
Be realistic. You should be closer to resolving your issue after your appointment but there will probably be further steps needed. It is helpful to have a realistic view of what can be achieved and how quickly.
Stay in touch. We will make sure that you stay informed of any progress on a regular basis but let us know if you require more information. You can also help by keeping us up to date with any new developments. The sooner we hear about any changes the better so that we can continue to meet your needs.
Keep your own case file and bring it along to subsequent meetings. Include all of your relevant legal documents, identification, notes made at previous meetings and reminders of any questions that need asking at your next appointment. This also a great place to store the name and contact details of any parties involved, including your advisor at Burn and Co.