Ian Walker

Ian Walker – Founder/ Director/ Solicitor/ Mediator/ Arbitrator

Our client service guarantee

I founded Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors from scratch in 2013. For the first two years the practice was simply me and a computer.

We have been able to grow the practice into a family law solicitors practice with a fantastic team of outstanding lawyers through a lot of hard work.

In my view our team are at least as good as any other team of family lawyers in the South-West. Growth has been achieved because clients wanted to instruct us and have recommended us to their friends.

The quality of what we do is fundamental we do. As director, I am responsible for dealing with complaints. This is a role I take very seriously.

On the one hand, I do not want to have to deal with any complaints because everything has been done really well and clients are happy.

On the other hand, and recognising that even in the best organised practice that perfection is impossible, I very much want to receive complaints, so that I can find out where things have not gone as well as they should. I would much rather problems be brought to my attention when they are small problems. Small problems are always easier to deal with than the problems.

Whilst perfection is impossible to achieve – any good organisation has to be striving for constant improvement. This is our mindset. We need to be learning lessons and looking for improvements all the time. I take this extremely seriously.

I want my firm to be the best that it can be. There is no point aiming to be second best or worse.

 Service Level Guarantee

In 2019 I introduced Our Service Level Guarantee. This is a commitment to provide an outstanding service.

Our service guarantee is as follows:

We provide an excellent level of client service; we believe this to be better than most. For our clients, we believe that excellent service is made up of things like our availability, prompt phone and email responses, unequivocal and pragmatic advice, clear explanations, clear written communication, accurate and error-free invoicing, and general ease of doing business with us.

But rather than make hollow promises, we are prepared to ‘put our money where our mouth is’ with a meaningful guarantee.

If you do not consider that you have had exceptional service from us during the course of this engagement, you may unilaterally reduce our fee by up to 10% – no strings attached.

The SLG is offered on either a staged basis or a whole-of-project basis. Under the former, we afford you the rights under the SLG in relation to each monthly invoice. Where we are working for you on a fixed fee – the SLG will apply to the entire fixed fee and your determination is made at the conclusion of the matter.

The Service Level Guarantee is not a result guarantee. It is a service guarantee.

The Service Level Guarantee is about ensuring that our clients feel looked after. So far as results are concerned, it goes without saying that we always strive to achieve the best possible results for our clients. With the type of work we undertake, there are often trade-offs to be made if the case results in a negotiated outcome. Often negotiated outcomes can provide better long-term solutions (particularly if there are children in a family). Going to court always carries with it a degree of uncertainty because a judge has a degree of flexibility and discretion. What might have been best result can be difficult to measure. But measuring whether our clients feel that they have been looked after is personal to the client and easier to measure.

The Service Level Guarantee does not apply in legally aided cases. With these cases we are paid by the Legal Aid Agency under the terms of our legal aid contract. So far as service standards are concerned however, we endeavour to provide the same excellent service to all our clients.

Similarly, the service level guarantee does not apply to our initial meetings or work undertaken under a limited/unbundled retainer (our pay-as-you-go scheme). These are individual meetings which are undertaken on a fixed fee – which is essentially discounted from our normal hourly rates. The Service Level Guarantee applies to cases where we are instructed by client on an ongoing basis – and we are very much looking after them through a difficult period in their lives.

If you would like to know more then please do let me know. My email is: ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

Equally, if after reading through our website you think there are ways in which we could improve our service then I would be pleased to hear from you. (Please note – I am aware that there are occasional typos and spelling mistakes on some of the pages. I am dyslexic and even with a spellchecker and grammar checker it is impossible to spot everything before it goes up on the site – please accept my apologies).