The quality and value of legal advice is very much dependent upon the input which an advisor receives. So if you’re serious about obtaining valuable legal advice you’ll need to invest some time in setting out the details which explain the issue(s) on which you need help.
Asking for detailed information is not an attempt to complicate the issue and charge a higher fee! It’s just the opposite: the aim is to make the issue as clear and precise as possible, so that we can deliver, as economically as possible, advice which gives accurate and useful answers. The alternative — vague advice, based on vague facts, would be longer, more expensive, and largely useless.
The key is being specific. The following notes won’t cover every case, but they should give you a good idea of what is needed.
Being specific about places
For a quick reference to places with addresses, use the postcode. But even better is what3words, the website which gives every 3-metre square piece of land on the planet a unique three-word address. You can use this resource to indicate which piece(s) of land you are concerned with, and where things happened (parked cars, gates, accidents….) A plan is always a good idea, as are photographs. If you don’t already have a professionally-drawn plan, prepare a rough sketch plan and mark it up with the necessary details. Show on the plan the points from which photographs have been taken.
Being specific about events
Tell the story chronologically. If the facts are complicated, it can be useful to set the scene with a brief introductory explanation.
Being specific about the details
Put the details in: dates, persons, costs, etc etc. If there’s a dispute, tell both sides of the story: very few disputes are entirely one-sided.
Being specific about what you are trying to achieve
Explain what it is you hope to achieve. Clarification of what the law permits? A friendly settlement of a dispute? Compensation or some other remedy from the courts?
Some final tips
Number your paragraphs, so that people can refer to the appropriate parts of your statement more easily.
Ask someone you trust to read and comment on what you have written. They may find ways in which it could be shorter and clearer. (Please don’t take that personally!)