Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can we expect when we first contact your offices? In the past we have dealt with several solicitors in one firm and found this very stressful.
When you first contact our offices by telephone, we guarantee that you will be met with a friendly and reassuring voice. We will take some initial details of the nature of your query and give you a firm commitment to return your call within 24 hours (at the very latest) if a solicitor is not available at that time.
Where a solicitor is available, you will be immediately connected to that solicitor to outline your initial query.
If you contact the office by email in the first instance, again we guarantee that we will respond by email or telephone within 24 hours (at the very latest).
We also guarantee that only one solicitor will deal with your file at all times. In that way we ensure that you can build an ongoing relationship with your solicitor and your file will not be passed to others (unless in very exceptional circumstances and on a temporary basis e.g., where a solicitor is ill or on annual leave).
2. If we decide to engage or work with your office, what happens next?
As a professional body, solicitors are regulated by the Law Society of Ireland and are held to very high professional and ethical standards. As we are regulated by the Law Society’s Regulation Department, we are required to have various documentation in place where you engage our services.
In order to ensure that you are fully familiar with the nature and detail of the services to be provided, we will give you the following documents after you speak with us. This does not mean that you are committed to engage with our office but rather it allows you to review the documents provided and ask any questions thereafter.
(a) Letter of Engagement which sets out clearly the nature of the services to be provided and the steps involved in assisting you.
(b) Section 150 Legal Costs Notice which sets out the nature of our legal fees and charges.
(c) Terms of Business which address general information about our Practice and our Services.
We will also require some evidence of your identity depending on whether you are an individual or a company. Solicitors are subject to statutory AML obligations pursuant to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2018.
For example, as an individual, we may require a copy of your passport or driving licence or a recent utility bill or bank statement. We will notify you in advance of any documents we require, and we will simply hold a copy on your file.
3. I work long hours during the week and cannot attend your offices during office hours. Is there any other way I can speak or meet with you?
Yes! We appreciate that our clients cannot always be available during normal office hours. With the impact of Covid-19, we have changed how we work to allow more flexibility for clients, and this includes facilitating remote appointments (by video or telephone). If you are unsure about how these appointments work, we will discuss this with you and help set up your phone or laptop/tablet to allow us to speak with you.
In many cases, we are also available for early morning, evening or weekend appointments depending on the urgency of your case.
4. We are worried about legal fees and costs and how much our case or enquiry will cost. Can you provide us with any information?
We fully understand that many clients are fearful of what they see and read in the media in respect of legal costs, but we want to reassure you that our fees and charges are fully transparent, and we are happy to discuss any concerns you might have before you engage us. The documentation outlined in Section 3 will also outline details of our legal fees and charges so you can make a fully informed decision after reviewing these.
We also provide a full breakdown of all our fees and time incurred on your case or project so that you are fully kept up to date at all times.
Please do not allow a fear of costs to prevent you contacting us and always remember that you are not obliged to engage our offices to act for you if you do not wish to do so. By providing you with a quote for the work you require, you are not obliged to accept that quote.
5. Do you charge an initial consultation fee? We simply wish to meet with you to answer some legal queries we have and to decide if we may have a case or not.
In general we are happy to have a brief introductory call to the legal issue you may be facing.
Thereafter we do charge an initial consultation fee depending on the type of legal issue you may be facing. These costs can range from €100 to €250 (including VAT) and we generally require that any fee is paid in advance of any meeting, whether remote or in person.
You may query why we charge an initial fee where other solicitors do not. The answer is simple. We pride ourselves in helping many clients at initial consultation stage and in some cases, clients do not require any further assistance from us after meeting. Sometimes clients simply wish to discuss some legal concerns and are unsure of where to obtain reliable and accurate advice. We also experience a high demand for consultations and unfortunately in the past some clients have failed to notify us that they will not be attending. This results in many wasted appointments where we could be helping others.
As a small practice, you will also appreciate that it is not possible to meet clients throughout the day with no fee for our time.
If you do have a case, the consultation fee goes towards a deposit on your case and will be deducted from any final fees. In that way, if you do not wish to proceed with any further advice/your case, you will have received enough information at our consultation to make a fully informed decision of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you do wish to proceed with next steps, your consultation fee goes towards reducing any final fees due to us. If we do not believe you have a case, we will inform you at the consultation and you are always free to obtain a second opinion if you do not agree with us.
In order to ensure that clients obtain the maximum benefit from any consultation, we advise that clients send us as much information as possible in advance. This can be done by email or post.
At the consultation we will discuss the merits of any case you have and discuss approximate additional costs and steps at our initial consultation and thereafter.
6. Why should we work with Wendy Doyle Solicitors? What makes you different from any other solicitor’s practice?
That is a good question and one we focused on when we set up in practice in 2009.
We are relentlessly focused on quality services and maintain the Q1000 standard for legal services and are accredited to the Institute of Legal Research and standards. This quality standard is of the utmost importance and ensures not only that a firm has the correct policies and procedures in place, but also independently verifies this to ensure that the interests of the clients of the firm are in the best possible hands. Wendy Doyle has trained in many of the best law firms in Dublin and brings this quality to her own practice. The Q1000 standard means:
• Wendy Doyle Solicitors complies with Law Society best practice guidelines.
• Wendy Doyle Solicitors have improved risk management and client care policies.
• Wendy Doyle Solicitors have state-of-the-art systems and procedures.
We genuinely believe we also add a level of compassion and empathy to our services which you may not always find elsewhere. We are with you every step of your legal journey and are genuinely delighted when our clients are happy. We will be there to celebrate the wins and also help you during any challenges you may be experiencing.
We are also very aware that happy clients are also more likely to recommend us hence our commitment and assurances to you.
If for any reason, you are unhappy with any aspect of our services, Wendy Doyle will either speak with or meet with you to understand your concerns and try to resolve these for you.