We have been shortlisted – Devon and Somerset Law Society Legal Awards 2016
I am delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the 2016 Devon & Somerset Law Society’s Inaugural Awards in the Innovation Award category
After a lengthy judging process on Thursday 26th November, our business was selected as one of the final few to go forward to the Awards Evening in March 2016.
The shortlisted people and firms will officially be announced in print and online on Thursday 3rd December in the Western Morning News and Exeter Express & Echo.
The Awards Evening will formally take place on Thursday 3rd March 2016, at Sandy Park in Exeter at the Devon & Somerset Law Society Annual Dinner
Doing things differently
How are we innovators?
It is difficult to anything that is completely new, and you would not necessarily want to anyway. When clients choose a law firm they want the knowledge that they are making a good choice for them, to enable then to achieve a good outcome. Clients don’t want to take big risks.
At Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors we seek to innovate in the following way:
- We endeavour to keep our overheads low, so that we can keep our charges competitive. The going rate for a specialist family law partner in a larger practice in Exeter or Taunton is around £220 – £250 per hour plus VAT. Although we are going to increase our charges a little bit in the New Year, I currently charge clients £160 plus VAT per hour for my time. Legal services are not cheap but with a tight budget £60 plus VAT for each hour of work is a significant saving. Alternatively it is the difference between instructing someone who has 25 years of experience of Family Law in comparison to instructing someone who might be newly qualified.
- We have avoided expensive city centre offices. What clients want to pay for is good advice. For clients in East Devon we are conveniently located at the East Devon Business Centre, Heath Park Way, Honiton, which is adjacent to the A30 and has good disabled access and free parking directly outside the front door. Our clients do not need to waste their time travelling all the way into Exeter and then having to find somewhere to park so that they can see us. The business centres that we use allow us to see our clients in private. They are friendly and accessible and unintimidating.
- We are both a specialist firm of family solicitors and a mediation service. As a legal practice we aim to give good advice. We focus on outcomes. We discussed with clients the best way to achieve a reasonable outcome, and in a cost-effective way. Most often this will involve negotiation including within mediation. When we refer our clients to mediation, we can use our knowledge of mediation to help our clients prepare for the mediation process and to make best use of that process. When we are instructed as a neutral mediation service we use our legal knowledge to give our clients relevant legal information in a neutral way in order to assist them to make their own decisions. If a matter arises within mediation where a client needs to take independent legal advice to enable them to make an informed decision, we will certainly flag this up, so that our mediation clients are enabled to make the best use of Family Mediation. We offer our clients a genuine choice.
- We try to make the best use of available technology. We work as a small team. We hope that we are set up in such a way that we can adapt easily to changes within the legal market. We would hope that this is to the benefit of our clients.
It is a great honour to have been shortlisted in a prestigious category at the inaugural Devon and Somerset Law Society Legal Awards 2016. However, to be honest it is a greater honour to receive referrals of new clients from our existing and former clients.
Although we have many years of experience within our team, as a practice we have only been going for approaching three years (we have just completed our second full year of trading). It is extremely encouraging to see the growth that the practice has achieved within this time and to know that we have satisfied clients who are willing to recommend us to their friends and colleagues.
There is plenty of information about us on this website. If we can help you, then please do give us a call