Belfast Telegraph

Striving to ensure the best quality of service

Solicitors are always seeking to understand what their clients are looking for to provide a high standard

By Andrew Walker

Like many business people, Christmas is a good time to take stock of the year behind, and to get some headspace to think ahead to the coming year.

For my legal practice, Walker Legal, it's been a landmark year, where we've grown quickly, taken on a range of new staff and opened an office in Belfast. People tend not to think of solicitors as business people, but one of the reasons we've grown so quickly is that we see ourselves as a business and we make the effort to provide the best possible service for our customers in the same way every other business needs to do.

Just because solicitors' practises have behaved in a certain way for a long time, doesn't mean that this has to remain the case. Clients have a right to expect the same level of customer service from a profession such as a solicitor or accountant as they do from a restaurant or retail outlet. So we make every effort to recognise that, to market and cross market our services and make sure that the clients who come to us for a house purchase, remain with us when they need advice on a business matter or making a will.

So what lessons have we learnt in 2015, and how do we plan to utilise those lessons in 2016? One of the key things is that a fast growing business needs to keep doing what made it a good business in the first place, even when the demands of growth mean that time is more limited and clients are more plentiful. It's the personal connection that counts and we have built a strong business on ensuring that we take the time to understand what our clients want and make the effort to ensure that they get it.

Secondly, our clients can see that we are a 'happy' company. By that I mean that our team works exceptionally well together, each member of the team feels trusted and appreciated. That's much easier to do when you're a tight nit small unit and can easily be lost during growth. To that end we meet regularly and the team are clear on where the company is going.

One aspect of the legal profession is the fact that the vast majority of our graduates are women. My practise recognised early on that there are issues in terms of childcare and family life and we moved to make sure that we offer the members of our team who have families the flexibility in their working hours which they need to remain productive and happy, while also being there of mealtimes and homework. 2015 has been a good year .We are emerging from the gloom of a few years ago, the housing market is picking up, and with the long delayed agreement at Stormont, we can hopefully look forward to movement on corporation tax. On behalf of all the staff at Walker Legal, I'd like to wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous new year.

  • Contact Walker Legal at 6 Bridge Street, Portadown, BT62 1WL, tel 028 3833 7591, and Scottish Provident Building, 7 Donegall Square West, Belfast, Co Antrim, BT1 6JH, tel 028 9091 8461

Belfast Telegraph