Q: How can I obtain advice from you? A: Just email us with a note telling us, in a few words, who you are, what the problem is, and what you hope to achieve. You can use the form on this website or send your email direct to email@example.com. We will reply swiftly, to let you know whether we can help.
Q: What happens then? A: We will need some detailed input from you in order to provide detailed advice. If you are within range of Oxford, the best approach may be for you to come and see us. For how this works, please see our Initial consultation page. Otherwise we can advise on the basis of written details — please see our Written advice page.
Q: What about advice over the telephone? A: We wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as a first choice, but it can work well in some cases. It depends on the nature of the problem, so please just let us know.
Q: Whom do you advise? A: Many of our clients are private individuals or private organisations; but we are sometimes approached by local government and public bodies. We will always help if we can.
Q: How quickly can you produce advice? A: In urgent cases, within a day or two, though usually we would expect to respond within about a week.
Q: Why does it take so long? A: Good advice flows from a process of thinking, researching, drafting and redrafting — and (the last and probably most important step) carefully re-reading your instructions, to make sure that we have provided good, clear answers to the questions which we have been asked. All this takes time. (Which, incidentally, is why giving advice over the telephone doesn’t always work very well.)
Q: Are you willing to provide a “second opinion” on a legal problem? A: In principle, yes; but several points are worth making. First, lawyers don’t always agree, any more than doctors or other specialists do. Secondly, please bear in mind that if you ask another lawyer a slightly different question, at a time when the facts have changed slightly, you may at best get a slightly different answer. Finally, we are happy to work with solicitors (or other advisors) on a particular problem, and doing so may be more productive than criticising them after the event for what they have said or done.
Q: What about payment? Do you ask for payment in advance? A: Please see our Charges page. Payment is due when our client is happy with the advice we have provided, and any follow-up queries (included in the agreed fee) have been dealt with.
Q: Do you publish feedback? A: The advice we give is confidential, and is any event specific to the case in question. So we can’t, as it were, put our wares on display. We are keen to have feedback from our clients, and very much appreciate it when we get it. Publishing it is another matter. Nowadays, regrettably, there will always be a suspicion that glowing tributes have been supplied by friends and relatives, not genuine clients, and that negative comments have come from “trolls”. Both sorts of feedback are of course quite worthless, and publishing them would serve no useful purpose. So by far the best way of judging our services is to speak to someone who has used them, and can recommend them. The best we can say is that we welcome constructive criticism and we take it fully into account because we want the service we offer to be as good as possible. Please feel free to send us feedback.