✔ Professionally qualified ✔ Experienced in their field of law
✔ Highly Regulated ✔ Fully Insured
✔ Legal Ombudsman scheme available ✔ Obliged to act in your best interests

These days, supermarkets, banks and a whole host of online / ‘non solicitor’ companies are offering legal services and cheap ‘quickie’ divorces; and they may be making all sorts of tempting promises, of ‘free’ advice and ‘low fees’, warning you against using ‘expensive’ solicitors that charge by the hour and will rack you up a huge bill.

Well, to a large extent, the old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ still rings true – although it’s a myth peddled by these new commercial juggernaut companies that all traditional solicitor firms are out to rip you off. Naturally, it’s in their financial interests to entice you away from using your local high street solicitor and to spend your money with them instead. But will you really get a better deal with them?

At FLC, we have always offered a free initial consultation – with a fully qualified, experienced, highly regulated and insured solicitor, who can give you that crucial, face to face, initial advice you need – unlike the very probably unqualified and inexperienced call centre telephonist who answers your call to the ‘free advice helpline’ of one of these new legal service providers.

It has been suggested (by an MP no less – if you think they know what they’re talking about) that buying legal services should be as easy as buying a tin of baked beans. Well, you know what, we rather agree in some ways!

Initially, we thought the comparison was a bit ridiculous; finding the right legal advisor to support you and help you sort out a difficult and emotionally charged family situation could hardly be compared with buying a tin of beans now, could it?

But, actually, not all beans are the same. And, not all ‘legal advisors’ are the same.

Years ago, people started shopping at supermarkets for the convenience of getting everything under one roof. But where has this taken us? Many trusted local family owned butchers, grocers and bakers went out of business; but nowadays, they are becoming more sought after again, as people discover the benefits of buying fresh, local produce over supermarket food.

Growing numbers of shoppers are disillusioned with mass produced food. They want to know where their food comes from and to support local suppliers, especially in more rural areas. Tasteless food, packed with preservatives and wrapped in layers of packaging does little for our health, confidence in suppliers’ ethics, or our wallets.

Supermarkets go to enormous lengths to pile food high and sell it cheap. Remember the horsemeat scandal? And just because something is labeled as ‘fresh’ doesn’t mean it is. Mass produced fruit and veg may be picked unripe and stored for several weeks before shipping, or pumped full of additives to appear fresher.

Locally produced food, by contrast, is likely to be on the shelves a day or two after harvesting, retaining far more nutrients. Local produce is fresher, tastier, healthier, better value, more ethical and environmentally friendly.

Smaller suppliers face a constant battle competing with the large supermarkets. By supporting local suppliers, you help to create and sustain jobs and a happier, more close-knit community. Incidentally, using fresh, local produce that looks and tastes great is a major ingredient in what sets Michelin star restaurants apart.

So, back to the beans; if you’ve ever bought the cheap economy / value range beans, you’ll know that they can often be a huge disappointment, with lots of thin and watery tomato sauce and only around half a can of fairly tasteless actual beans – very poor quality. Well, you do get what you pay for!

So, to use another food analogy, the proof in buying legal services is in the pudding. Can you really trust a supermarket or bank to deliver the highly personal service and considerable legal expertise that traditional solicitors’ firms have honed over many years of invaluable experience?

And why have these big businesses gone into legal services in the first place? They say they want to give great customer service where expensive traditional solicitors have (allegedly) failed. Hmm…, so the bottom line wouldn’t have anything to do with it then, would it?

Of course, we’re all in business to turn a reasonable profit. Let’s be frank about that. But since providing professional family law services has always been at the very heart of what we do, you won’t have to worry about us peddling insurance or financial products to you that you don’t need, or bombarding you with junk mail.

And to go back to the Michelin star restaurant metaphor, we only put the very best ingredients into our ‘product’ – properly trained solicitors with plenty of local knowledge and experience, who really are qualified to advise.

Finally, one has to marvel a little at the artifice in these new legal service providers’ claims of honesty and openness, and just wonder – if the so called terribly un-customer service friendly ‘rip off’ solicitors are not going to be employed by them to advise people – just who the heck is going to be providing the legal advice?