Peer Review Confirms Our Client Focus
A Peer Review is a requirement of our contract with the Legal Aid Agency. A random selection of files are made. A reviewer will examine how we have dealt with client matters across all of our offices. This process is purely on the basis of the information recorded by our lawyers on the files supplied.
Our clients will know that we have worked very hard to ensure consistency of approach whether you see a solicitor at Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield or Ilkeston. We are pleased to be able to report that the reviewer agreed that we have been successful.
Following the random sampling, a number of positive aspects of our service were identified by the independent reviewer.
“Good Outcomes for Clients”
The adjudicator found evidence that we are “securing good outcomes for clients in all categories of work” – at the police station, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. These were evidenced by clients being refused charge, having the benefit of submissions of no case to answer or receiving sentences that were a significant departure from the published guidelines.
“Timely and Realistic Advice”
The reviewer noted that as a firm we ensured that our clients are “given timely and realistic advice about the strength of the evidence against them”. We showed that this advice allowed clients to secure the maximum available credit for early guilty pleas. Indications of culpability for lesser charges were given early, again maintaining credit when the Crown finally accepted the account given by our client.
“Pro-active steps were taken” to seek full instructions early in cases to allow the early drafting of, for example, a basis of plea, that was agreed with the prosecution prior to the first Crown Court hearing. This allowed the client to be sentenced in a manner favourable to him.
“Readily Understandable Advice”
Our “clients were given clear and readily understandable advice about the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution and defence cases and their prospects at trial”. Our clients “were able to make fully informed decisions about their case”, with the advice given in plain English and clear, readily understandable terms.
“Actively Pursued Disclosure”
These strengths were combined with our “pro-active approach to the preparation and management of cases”. It was observed that we “actively pursued outstanding disclosure issues” on behalf of clients, whether cases were at the Magistrates’ or Crown Court. The strengths or weaknesses of the prosecution or defence cases were kept under constant review.
“Client Focussed Approach”
Our approach to managing client appointments, the provision of advice in person and in writing and our regular updates on cased “increased the prospects of our clients engaging in the preparation of their cases and provided further evidence of our client focussed approach”.
VHS Fletchers have offices across the East Midlands. We offer representation in criminal cases from the police station through to the Court of Appeal. Independent reviews of the quality of our advice such as these can give you confidence in instructing this firm to represent you.