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Clients suffer in silence

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Clients suffer in silence

Postby dls » Fri May 30, 2014 9:18 am

A rather sad figure emerges from a recent study

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/le ... 05.article

44% of clients suffer in silence. It is not good reading.

It has to be said however that many lawyers similarly have to suffer in silence at the shenanigans of their clients,
The reality is that very many clients walk into a lawyer's office in a state of distress and or confusion.
Many years ago, I has one client who would, every time he walked into my office, start by exploding in anger. I learned fairly quickly that if I just sat there and took it for fifteen minutes more or less, he would have it all out of his system, and would then be amicable and reasonable and ready to sort his matters out. Though the anger was directed at me, I think he was just angry and I was the one in front of him, and was the only one he could safely express his pent up feelings at. He knew he was paying the bill.

There were moments when, as a lawyer, you can achieve something which borders on the magical, but usually it is much more mundane, and often involves helping the client come to terms living with a proper compromise.

For a period, I worked in a very large firm. The arrengement was simple. If a client had the balls to walk in and request your assistance, you tokk every possible point and step to secure what he wanted. The other side of the bargain was that he would pay the bill whatever it was. The firm did well, I practised good law, and the clients got the best answer possible. Unfortunately that worked for rich clients only.

Running a small pratice in a small town, such clients did not exist. Every case is one where, if the client had the money there would be more perhaps that might be done, but the clients usually simply did not have the money to pay.
What do you do? You practise with one eye over your shoulder to check what your client is ready to spend.
I disliked it.
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Re: Clients suffer in silence

Postby atticus » Fri May 30, 2014 9:39 am

My firm works hard to reduce complaints, and to deal with issues before they become complaints.

Why?

Well, self-interest for one.

It is remarkably easy to lodge a complaint on line with the Legal Ombudsman. For every complaint that is lodged, we have to pay the LEO £420. That is whether the complaint is upheld or not. And whether our fee was less than that.

Our complaints record is also taken into account at insurance renewal time. That could cost us.

On the other side, without client recommendations, our firm would struggle. We want clients to recommend us. They will not do so of they do not think we have provided a good service at a fair price. We get a lot of repeat business and a lot of recommendations. In the financial year just ended, we took on a record number of new clients and our repeat business figures were strong.
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Re: Clients suffer in silence

Postby miner » Fri May 30, 2014 5:29 pm

atticus wrote:My firm works hard to reduce complaints, and to deal with issues before they become complaints.....


A very responsible and sensible approach, one which encourages recommendation by word of mouth, thereby enhancing your firm's business.

It's just a pity that many of your fellow-travellers in the Law Society do not follow that approach.
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Re: Clients suffer in silence

Postby atticus » Fri May 30, 2014 5:38 pm

Does the suggestion that I have "fellow travellers" have pejorative connotations?
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Re: Clients suffer in silence

Postby miner » Fri May 30, 2014 5:48 pm

From the link posted by dls:
Nearly half of individuals dissatisfied with legal services do not complain, the Legal Services Consumer Panel says today.

Levels of public trust are also up, with 43% of the public trusting lawyers to tell the truth, up from 42% last year.


Gosh, so everything in the garden is fine ...... As if such an "increase" is even meaningfully measurable given the significant margins of error in the compilation of such statistics. If anyone wants to quote that sort of crap, they should also state the claimed margin of error. What laughable bullshit!

The only logical conclusion is that fewer than half of the public trusts lawyers to actually tell the truth! Christ, that's a truly shocking percentage, whether it's 42 % or 43%!

'Consumers can be reassured that solicitors are highly regulated and insured and there is a compensation fund in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.'


Highly regulated? On paper, perhaps, but in reality only minimal actual regulation takes place in practice. The SRA consists of a bunch of mostly incompetent and dishonest staff - many of whom are solicitors - who routinely lie when they produce reports to a complainant, enabling them to let the solicitor under complaint off the hook.

The article implies that the compensation fund is linked to the regulation which is bullshit, as the SRA doesn't pay compensation.
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