After careful consideration the Worst Solicitor of 2013 Award goes to :
Residential Lawyers Ltd of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1YG
Congratulations. You earned it.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that solicitors are people who wanted to become barristers but didn't have the brains, money or family connections to pull it off. This outfit is a text-book example.
They offer a sub-standard service and should be avoided. Talk to your estate agent and ask if they have had dealings with them. I doubt you will find many recommendations.
If you are reading this you may still be tempted by their range of services. So lets look at what they offer. Residential Lawyers Ltd make the following claims about their service :
Residential Lawyers Limited are the recommended Conveyancers for Sales, Purchases, Remortgages, Transfers of Equity and Will Writing for some of the UK's largest and most well-known companies
Ok. For fun get them to name the three biggest UK companies they are recommended by. Their idea of "well-known" may differ to yours.
Fast searches to clear obstacles
The searches are fast. This is usually because they do the wrong searches to save money. Don't be surprised if your mortgage company refuses to accept their "searches" as being suitable to meet their standards.
Reliable service from approachable, experienced staff who speak your language
Yes they speak your language. You probably speak Punjabi or Portuguese so that's a relief. Right? Experienced? Probably, but it ain't in conveyancing.
A friendly one to one relationship where you matter - ours is not a call centre
No it's not a call centre. A call centre employing these guys would be out of business within a week. If it was a call centre they might also answer the phone occasionally.
Internet access to check on your Conveyancing progress with updates via text if you choose
Wow. They've got the Internet! Holy crap these guys are blazing a trail. Wait there's more. Text messages. Yes they can send you a text message. This is pure sci-fi. We are indeed living in the future.
The downside of living in the future is the over reliance on technology. Residential Lawyers Ltd are at the cutting edge of computer technology so rely heavily on computers. This is unfortunate as they seem to "be down" for a large part of the week.
As an IT specialist I find this slightly strange as "the computers are down" is something I haven't heard from any other company for at least a decade. It's almost as if it is an excuse they use for not progressing something or not reporting on their progress.
They operate a computer-based prompting system. They simply do what the computer tells them to do. If the computer doesn't prompt them they don't do it. This introduces lots of delays while the zombies sit there waiting for instructions from the computer (which doesn't appear to work apparently).
Given they have clearly mastered 21st Century technology you should check out their website. They obviously paid to have it created in 2011 and haven't touched it since. It has a colour palette from a feminine hygiene product website pre 1999. It is packed full of boilerplate quotes such as,
"We aim to make the whole house conveyancing process as smooth and trouble free as we can."
"Smooth" isn't a word many of their clients would use. Mention their names to any estate agent and watch their faces drop.
But don't worry. They are members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. That surely means they won't balls up your house purchase/sale? Wrong. This just means they've paid a membership fee and get a free magazine once a quarter. It's like being a member of the Council for Pimps and Crack Dealers. They throw a great Christmas party but aren't much use for consumers caught in the cross-fire.
There are plenty of good solicitors out there so don't chance your hard-earned money with these sub-standard cowboys.