DIVORCE LAWYER IN BRISTOL AND EXETER
We Are Different
Apple Tree Family Law is a new kind of law firm which exists purely to deliver the very best legal advice to private individuals.
Traditional law firms work well for their target clients, which are primarily their corporate clients such as medium or large businesses, insurance companies and government departments. But they don’t work well for family law clients.
The main problem is that solicitors are expensive. The hourly rate a traditional firm will ask you to pay is probably several times the rate you pay for any other professional service you use, but the solicitor advising you is paid only a fraction of what you are charged.
That is because traditional law firms are extremely expensive to run. They usually have expensive flagship offices in smart locations, and as well as the person who is actually advising you, there will be a whole array of other people working behind the scenes, from receptionists and telephonists, through finance teams, HR teams, compliance officers and marketing departments, to a senior partner who probably does not have any client facing role at all. All of these people rightly expect to be paid a decent salary, which ultimately is paid by you, the client, and is reflected in the astronomical hourly rates solicitors charge.
The traditional law firm’s preferred clients - large companies, insurance companies and government departments - expect these things and don’t mind paying for them. They need all those back-office functions to be there so they draw comfort from the fact that the firm they are instructing is expensive. At the end of the day the person who commissions legal services on behalf of a large company is not paying the bill themselves. And the bill comes at a discount because the company pays it with money which would otherwise be profit on which it would have to pay tax, and it can reclaim the VAT.
As a family law client you are in a different position. You won’t need or use those expensive back-office people. What will make a difference to you is the experience and knowledge of the person who advises you, the quality of the service you receive, and - if your case goes to court - the skill with which it is presented to the judge. But you are expected to pay pretty much the same hourly rate as a large corporate client would pay, so all those expensive items are included in your bill.
And you have to pay your bill out of your own hard-earned money, on which you have already paid tax, at a time in your life when you probably need to be careful about how you are using your resources.
At Apple Tree Family Law we can work on a different model because we only do family law. We don’t need a lot of the expensive items traditional law firms carry, to provide our clients with an excellent service. In fact when we were working at other firms we found that organising those expensive items becomes a distraction, which makes it harder to focus on providing an excellent service. So we keep our head count to a minimum and make maximum use of digital and information technology, to avoid unnecessary expense where we can.
So, for example, if you come and see us you will find our offices comfortable and well placed, but they are also relatively modest. And most our clients generally prefer to call us by phone, or send an email. You will not notice any difference between the quality of service you receive from Apple Tree Family Law and the service you would get from a traditional family law firm, indeed we aim to be much better. And you will be advised, at all times, by the same experienced solicitor, not by an associate, or a newly qualified assistant. If your case has to go to court, your solicitor will have the respect, and ear, of the judge who decides your case.
When it comes to the bills, we work hard to give value for money and we aim to be significantly less expensive than a traditional law firm. We also take care to be crystal clear about our charges at every stage, and we only expect you to pay what you have agreed to pay in advance.