In this fourth edition of the Backhouse guide to finding your legal expert series, we are covering Employment Law for Employers. As an employer, you want to ensure that any legal advice you receive is professional, trustworthy and takes account of your commercial needs as the wrong advice could have a substantial impact on the survival of your business!

Employment Law professionals can advise on a variety of issues from representation at tribunals, advising on redundancy processes, drafting settlement agreements as well as assisting with managing employees including dismissal of an employee. Ensuring you are getting the best advice for your business is not as easy as it may seem…

Best practices & top tips:

To help ensure you receive the best advice for your business, we have put together some tips to consider before choosing your solicitor.

  1. Recommendations – If you know any other business owners who have used a law firm recently ask them about their experience with their solicitor. Would they recommend them? Check whether the advice they were given suited the business needs.
  2. Research – Do not just choose the first firm that pops up when you search for Employment Lawyers/Solicitors, do some research first. Ensure that the firm can assist with your issue and review their services.
  3. Online Reviews – viewing a company’s online ratings will provide you with an indication of other people’s experiences, which can be really useful.
  4. Consider your needs – do you want a solicitor who explains things to you in plain English, or would you prefer a solicitor who uses legal jargon? Review their website to ensure that the firm matches your preferred style.
  5. Fee Transparency – look for firms that state they will provide fee transparency. Often legal fees are not communicated clearly with clients and the final bill can end up being more than expected!
  6. Comparing Costs – Although it is tempting to choose the cheapest firm, this can have consequences. You may not receive a quality service, they may not have the qualifications you expect or they may not be insured for their advice (which is important if their advice is incorrect and you need to sue them). You also need to make sure they are regulated.  Solicitors are regulated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority).  Therefore we recommend you do your homework first.
  7. Initial consultation – Most firms will offer an initial consultation, sometimes free of charge. You should take the opportunity to use this initial consultation to assess whether the firm are a suitable match for you.
  8. Legal bodies and accreditations – look for accreditations and qualifications on the firm’s website.

Legal Bodies & Qualifications

Not everyone will be aware of the legal qualifications or regulations of the legal industry, so to help we have detailed this below.

SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) – the SRA logo and a registered number should easily be seen on the firm’s website and linked to a page that states the website has been verified by the SRA. This means that:

  • the firm and the solicitors are governed by the SRA
  • everyone who works for the firm must meet the high standards and rules set by the SRA
  • this firm must have the right level of insurance to protect you in case something goes wrong
  • you may be able to claim through the SRA Compensation Fund to have your money reimbursed if this firm or a solicitor working for it owes you money because it has been stolen or unaccounted for, or there was inadequate insurance in place.
  • you can complain to the SRA if a solicitor breaches the SRA rules

Hiccups…

  • Without using a solicitor to draft contracts and other legal documents there is no certainty that they are legally compliant
  • The business could face a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal if the correct process is not followed when dismissing an employee for whatever reason. A solicitor will be able to provide you with advice and guidance to assist you.
  • HR policies and procedures in place can protect the business and clearly identify the responsibilities of the employees. A solicitor will be able to review your policies and confirm that you are compliant.
  • An employee has working rights and failing to adhere to these can result in unfair dismissal claims and other types of claims, including but not limited to discrimination claims and/or whistleblowing claims. An employment expert will be able to ensure you are aware of employees’ rights and that you have the necessary policies and procedures in place.
  • Not providing training on equality or data protection can expose businesses to a greater risk of claims being brought against them.

Expert Employment Solicitors at Backhouse

If you are looking for a qualified and expert Employment Law Solicitor for you and your business, we can help. Contact us using the information below and book your free 30-minute consultation with one of our professionals.

Coming Soon – How to Find your Legal Expert – Part 5 – Commercial Lawyer

Tel:          01245 893400
Email:     info@backhouse-solicitors.co.uk
Visit:       17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.