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Rating solicitors and barristers online

There are a number of UK and Irish sites where you can supposedly rate your solicitor and barrister online, and leave comments. You would expect that I would then give you a link to the sites but it appears that doing so may expose me to potential libel action as a secondary publisher of defamatory material. So I wont post the sites for now…

On one of the sites I wasn’t shocked to see some of the names on the AVOID list that I had personal experience of, but I was surprised to see other lawyers on it that I know are conscientious and competent family lawyers. Also others who should be on the list were strangely absent. Worryingly for me some comments seemed quite similar to the copywritten style of shill Amazon-reviews, and may have been written as a marketing ploy rather than from a delighted former client. Business competition may also explain the anonymous ‘dissing’ of some solicitors.

I am all for customer feedback but it really would be better if these complaints could be validated in some way to ensure that ten engineered positive comments don’t negate a genuine complainant. Anyone who has something to say about anyone should at least have their IP address recorded and/or published to discourage inter firm rivalry spilling over into libel. Equally an IP address that is recorded as being from the company in question or a copywriting/ PR firm would discourage such rebranding of lawyers who may be offering less than a gold standard service.

One of these sites claims to be about hellish lawyers, but dig deeper into the site and you will see that these alleged miscreants can have a sin expunged if they pay£99 to delete that entry! Furthermore the deviants can go on committing sins without fear of appearing on the same site for £299! Some might say this is entrepreneurial whilst others may view it in a different light…

Notwithstanding the above there are undoubtedly a number of people who are dissatisfied with the service they have received from their lawyers, and after getting short shrift from the self regulators who adjudicate on such complaints they go to these rating sites to vent their spleen.

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