When you actually have found a solicitor to work with, how do you get reporting from them so that you’re comfortable with what’s happening?
Traditionally, a lawyer will let you know if something happens and they want your instructions.
But if this is not enough for you, then you can set your own parameters about how you want to be communicated with. I would generally suggest that a weekly phone call is probably a bit overboard, particularly if the matter is going to be fairly prolonged.
Being included on correspondence is more than reasonable.
Being sent things as they come in and being asked for your comment and instructions is absolutely essential.
But you just don’t know how long some of these things are going to take to turn around, because even if your lawyer is quite prompt, the other lawyer may take weeks every time something comes in to respond to.
It may be good to set up a parameter that you want at least a monthly email about the status of your matter, in addition to being told when something comes in and getting instructions.
If an email is not sufficient for you, then maybe a monthly phone call, but you do have to work out how you want to be communicated with and how you feel comfortable – then you must actually communicate that to your lawyer.
Solicitors are not mind-readers.
This also comes back to finding a lawyer that you can work with, finding the right lawyer, because some will not like to be told how you want to be reported to, or some may prefer written communication whereas you prefer phone communication. So you need to find someone who’s going to match how you communicate.
That may take a little bit of working out, or it could be quite easy in the first instance when you’re contacting firms to see how quickly someone responds to an email or a phone call. But there’s no good in sitting and waiting and stressing out.
Firstly, you need to trust that your lawyer will send you something if there is something relevant.
If you can’t wait, and you’re stressing about what’s happening (even if nothing is happening) and you want to be informed about what is being done behind the scenes, then do ask for that monthly or fortnightly reporting of some nature.
It is your matter. They are providing a service to you. So you are allowed to ask for that.
Understand that it may also increase your cost, because if they have to spend an extra 15 minutes a fortnight, then you may be charged for that as well.