How to find the best employment solicitors in Belfast & Northern Ireland
12 minute read
Identify several solicitors
According to the Law Society of Northern Ireland Solicitor Directory, there are almost 300 employment solicitors in Northern Ireland. With so many to choose from, it would be an impossible task to exercise the proper research prior to instruction on each one. That’s why we have created this useful guide on identifying the top employment solicitors in Northern Ireland.
There are three stages of research when choosing the right solicitor for you. Each stage should whittle down your list of contenders until you are left with only one.
- Due diligence
- Make contact
This article will now break down the steps involved in each stage.
1. Identify several employment solicitors who practice in Northern Ireland
You should seek to create a healthy list of potential solicitors to choose from. The two most common ways that people do this are as follows:
Although it is not always the case, generally speaking, you will find the best employment solicitors appear on Page 1 of Google when you search for the legal service you need. The same logic applies to all businesses, including retailers and service providers.
You should include a placename such as Belfast or Northern Ireland at the end of your search so that the results don’t show you employment solicitors in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is its own separate legal jurisdiction, regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Solicitors outside of this jurisdiction would not be able to assist you.
For example, a member of the public might search: “employment solicitors Belfast”
You should skip the three first results that are labelled with “Ad“. These are paid for adverts. It is very common for law firms outside of the Northern Ireland jurisdiction to advertise here, despite not offering services in Northern Ireland.
Word of mouth
One of the most common methods of finding a solicitor to represent you is through word of mouth. You could ask friends and family if they could recommend a good employment solicitor. When asking, be certain that you specify that it involves an employment matter.
Someone you trust may have had an excellent experience with their solicitor when purchasing a home or claiming following a road accident. However, the solicitor that assisted them may not be the best suited to advise on your employment matter.
Many home insurance policies include the funding of employment cases for you and anyone else covered under the terms of the insurance. The insurer will likely have a panel of “go to” solicitors. You might find that the insurer recommends a firm that suits your needs, but if not, you are under no obligation to instruct them and you can shop around. Regulation 6 of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 states that you have the freedom to choose your own firm of solicitors.
2. Due diligence in researching the best employment solicitors
When you have identified three or more law firms that you wish to consider, it’s time to act like a solicitor yourself and exercise some due diligence. Here are some ways in which you can narrow down your options:
You should check to see if a law firm has testimonials and reviews on its website.
As you read through reviews, you might notice trends in how the service or solicitor is described by multiple clients. You will hopefully see positive words such as professional, fast and empathy.
Testimonials that are hosted by online review collection companies such as Trustpilot, Reviews.io and reviewsolicitors.co.uk tend to carry more weight than those that are self-published. Only independent third-party review collection can guarantee real, authentic and verified reviews.
You can read what our clients have to say at Reviews.io
The more clients advocating for an employment solicitor, the more likely it is that you will also become a future advocate if you were to instruct them. That’s why your chosen employment solicitor should have a great deal more positive online reviews than the others.
Read case studies
Unlike reviews, case studies are more about quality over quantity.
You should look for case studies that the employment solicitor has published online or in journals. The more comprehensive the case study, the better. It will give you an idea of how the solicitor operates and how robustly they have solved employment matter legal challenges in the past.
You can read ours by visiting Case Studies.
Media and press
It is inevitable that the most prominent legal minds will attract attention from the press through their quality of work and the scale of the cases that they work on. Many law firms will list their media appearances on their website, but if they do not it does not necessarily mean they have not been reported on.
You can use Google search to identify news articles by searching for the firm’s name in “quotation marks” and by clicking the News tab directly under the search bar.
Recognised by prestigious Chambers & Partners and Legal 500
There are several prestigious legal directories and the most prominent are Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. You would benefit from instructing a law firm that has been included in one or both directories.
Legal directories closely examine a law firm and apply the highest levels of scrutiny before adding them to their directory. The methodology applied even involves assessors interviewing real clients using qualitative interview techniques, so you can be certain that only the best of the best law firms will be added.
Most law firms included in the directories will say so on their website. To be absolutely certain, you can search for a firm’s name from the respective directory website.
We have been included in the Chambers Guide.
Follow them on social media
Most law firms have at least some presence on social media with the most popular being Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You could consider following the firms that you are considering giving your instructions to and assessing whether their content output inspires confidence in their expertise.
It will also allow you to get to know the law firm’s “personality”. Do they seem like a firm you would like to build a professional relationship with?
If a law firm already has a large social media following, it could be considered an indicator of its reputation and the value that other people find in what they have to say.
3. Make contact
By now, you should have narrowed your options down to one or two law firms. The next stage is to contact them for a brief chat about your case. This is your opportunity to interrogate your (potential) future solicitor.
You should ask questions such as:
- Have you dealt with a case like mine before? If they have, you can be more confident in the service you will receive.
- Do you only do employment law? Someone that spends all day every day refining their skill will surely be better placed to help you than a jack-of-all-trades.
- Why did you become an employment solicitor? This is a curveball question that they probably haven’t been asked by a client before. Their answer should hopefully show you the kind of passion they have for their specialisation – the kind of passion they will apply to your case.
You will likely have many more questions of your own to ask. The best employment solicitors will be happy to oblige you.
Instruct the best employment solicitor for you
Hopefully, by now, you will have sufficient information to confidently instruct a solicitor that you are comfortable with and feel that you can trust. However, if you are not quite certain yet, do not be afraid to “shop around” further. The best solicitors will not pressure you into giving them your instruction or become offended that you wish to think it through further. Ultimately, it’s your case and you are entitled to instruct whoever you want to.
Hopefully, this guide will have prepared you well to choose the employment solicitor best suited to you. But, before you go…
We are experts in Belfast & Northern Ireland
Despite being one of Northern Ireland’s leading employment law solicitors, we have tried to keep this guide as unbiased as possible. We believe that everyone deserves access to the very best legal representation available. We also believe the services we offer stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny.
If you require an employment specialist solicitor, we invite you to conduct your own due diligence on our firm. We would also encourage you to do the same with other firms and settle on one that feels like the best fit.
Contact us today
If you have already decided that we are the firm for you, thank you. Contact us for a free, no-commitment initial consultation. We hope to hear from you soon.