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Know your lawyer – Wards Solicitors welcomes new rule requiring law firms to publish staff qualifications

From this week, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is introducing new rules to ensure all solicitors' practices give more information on their websites.

The aim is to make it easier for clients to compare the general level of fees for some types of work and also to compare the qualifications and experience of the lawyers who will work on the cases.

The importance of transparency

Wards Solicitors LLP has for many years included details of its residential conveyancing fees and its lawyers' qualifications and specialisms on its website.

Managing Partner, David Sheridan, says: "We have always believed that transparency about fees and the level of experience and the qualifications of our staff should be available to our clients.

"When a client entrusts their case to a firm of solicitors, it is important they can be certain that the person handling it has a high level of knowledge and the necessary experience to make sure everything proceeds as well as possible and that any difficulties are identified and resolved quickly.

"Legal matters can be some of the most important things clients deal with in their lives - buying and selling their homes, making their Wills, running their businesses and so on.

Fully qualified lawyers not unqualified 'paralegals' and 'assistants'

"Wards Solicitors believes that fully qualified lawyers are the starting point for providing excellent legal services with regular training and development and proper supervision continuing throughout their career.

"Some firms may be happy to rely on unqualified 'paralegals' and 'assistants' but we prefer not to. It can only be a good thing for the public to know who they are dealing with and who they are entrusting their cases to."