Family lawyers redefine the face-to-face meeting

Stephensons Solicitors LLP is giving face-to-face meetings a new definition.

In a bid to make themselves more accessible to their clients, the family law team at Stephensons has introduced Skype and FaceTime appointments for clients who simply can’t make it into the office but would still prefer to ‘meet’ their solicitor face-to-face.

The service has been popular with clients in this country and as far afield as Australia, for those who are looking for a solicitor to handle their family legal matters.

Chris Fairhurst (pictured) a solicitor in the Family team at Stephensons, said: “Being able to offer our clients a Skype appointment or even FaceTime will help people to access confidential assistance when it’s most convenient for them. Our clients have busy lives and lots of responsibilities such as caring for their children so we want to work around their availability not ours.”

The location of his solicitor certainly wasn’t an issue for Chris’s client, John, who lives in Australia yet chose to instruct Stephensons, which has offices in less sunny climes such as Manchester, Wigan, Bolton, Leigh, St Helens, Altrincham and London. Chris and John have been in regular contact through Skype.

John said: “Although I’m in Australia, my divorce was settled in England, so I chose Stephensons as I wanted a firm with a reputation.

“The Skype service is just as good as a face-to-face meeting. It makes all the difference to be able to make eye contact as it builds that vital trust.”

The introduction of Skype and FaceTime appointments is the latest measure by Stephensons to become as accessible as possible for clients. It follows on from the introduction of fixed fee services last year in the wake of the legal aid cuts to some areas of family law.

Mike Devlin, managing partner of the Family department, added: “Our clients have told us that they increasingly need handy ways to access legal help instead of coming into the office to see a solicitor.

“We’re one of the largest Family practices in the North West with a commitment to providing access to justice for all, so we’re eager to make our services as convenient as we can for the people we represent. It will also bring us one step closer to our plans to develop Stephensons into a truly national practice, as we will be able to speak with clients from right across the country regardless of their location.”