Another point to throw in. I've just taken on my sol, more for reasons of time and convenience than anything else. So, do the following characteristics of my sol make any difference to you, anyone else or effectiveness either in or out of a court:?
a. She's a woman (as are most shes, in my experience).
b. She's black (as many people around London here are).
c. She has a nose-stud (as discrete as a flashy thing on the side of your nose can be).
In contrast, I'm a man, I'm white and the nearest thing I have to jewelery is the wedding ring that I no longer wear.
Choosing a solicitor is not so hard, I'd suggest the following:
1 Make sure you choose a solicitor who is a member of resulution and who subscribes to the resolution code. I'd even suggest that you go one step further and select a Resolution Accredited Specialist...full details on the resolution website www.resolution.org.uk
2 Consider whether Collaborative law is right for you (it is not right foe every case, for example where there is domestic violence, fraud or the possibility of child abduction etc ). It work well where both parties want a dignified and costeffective divorce keeping solicitors letters to a minimum etc. More details can be found in a number of collaborative sites including the Central London Collaborative Forum website www.centrallondoncollaborativeforum.com
3 Choose a solicitor whos costs are suitable to your circumstances. Always agree an hourly rate with your lawyer before you formally instruct him or her. Costs must be proportionate to the value of the assets in question...there is little point going to a so called "magic circle " firm if the family pot is a small one. Ask for a costs estimate at the very start and make sure your solicitor bills you monthly.
4 If you cannot afford to instruct a solicitor privately, telephone resolution and ast for details of solicitors in your area who have a legal aid franchaise.
5 If your case is complex and has an international dimension , speak to a solicitor who is a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML) www.iaml.org/
6 A reccomendation from a friend who has been in the same boat is always worth listening to but remember every case is different.