Lawyers now take full advantage of technology to provide services to clients nationally and internationally without the need for face-to-face meetings. But frequently clients still want a local solicitor. You might simply prefer personal contact. Or you may only feel comfortable explaining your issues directly to your advisor. From both a cost and client service perspective however, these new, virtual ways of working are highly effective. In practice they make the location of your lawyer irrelevant. In our firm’s case – where we advise a large number of international divorce clients – we’ve even found that the use of file-sharing and video conferencing tools can in a very real sense bring us closer to clients than may have been the case in the past.
Finding The Right Divorce Solicitor
Deciding which solicitor to use is entirely a matter for you. Some transactions – buying or selling a home for example – might occasionally go more smoothly if your lawyer is nearby and has good local knowledge. He or she can give you valuable advice on a particular property that might not appear in the usual conveyancing searches and enquiries. But when it comes to choosing the best divorce lawyer the precise office location has assumed less importance. As the tools for remote working become more sophisticated our ability to provide an effective, more convenient service has undoubtedly increased.
The Rise Of Remote Advice For Divorce
In recent years more and more clients are working with their divorce solicitor remotely so they aren’t restricted to using local firms. The 2020 pandemic served only to accelerate this trend because of the total absence of face-to-face meetings. In our experience this has led clients to be more inclined to choose the best firm for them no matter where that firm is physically located. Email, file sharing, mobile apps and Zoom-type technology have made this possible.
Using a solicitor that’s not nearby means you’ll only rarely want to set up a formal appointment to discuss your case. Instead you’ll for the most part use email and Zoom-type applications to assess progress and communicate with your solicitor. In practical terms dispensing with the need for seeing your solicitor in person can actually make him or her more accessible because it frees up their time. Emails can be responded to rapidly or a quick video conference can be set up instantly without the need for either side to travel to the other’s location. Clients can also have video meetings with their solicitors at times and locations that are more convenient, comfortable, and less formal, often with less notice needed than with face- to-face meetings.
Is Remote Working Secure?
Sometimes clients have concerns that their sensitive information might be compromised if all communication (between themselves and their solicitor, between their spouse’s team and between the lawyers ad the courts) takes place through virtual meetings and email. But all solicitors are strictly regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This requires us to have measures in place to keep your information confidential – whatever way we communicate with you. These measures must cover the security risks posed to IT and other equipment when your solicitor is working from home.
In the end the decision on whether to instruct a solicitor locally or one based some distance away who’ll represent you remotely is one for you. Divorce in particular raises sensitive and stressful issues that many people will only ever be comfortable discussing with a solicitor based near them. So we don’t think the desire for face-to-face representation will ever disappear completely. And in many cases it will be more efficient to approach your legal representation in a hybrid way – dealing with certain aspects of a case remotely and holding personal meetings only when required.
At Brookman our priority is always to accommodate the client and offer the type of service requested. Our international work means we are highly adept at working with clients virtually, and we’ve seen this way of working extend more significantly to clients based in London and elsewhere in the UK. For more information please call Brookman Solicitors on 44 (0) 20 7430 8470 or contact us online. You can also request a free initial consultation.