Why local matters
When choosing a lawyer, there are dozens of options but, in the end, it really comes down to whether you choose a national brand or a local who understands the legal challenges unique to Cairns and surrounds.
There are benefits to both and it is important you thoroughly consider both the pros and cons before engaging a lawyer.
Benefits of a national firm
- Consistency – large national brands usually have systems in place to ensure that all their deeds and other documents look similar and that the same sort of language is used across the firm.
- Plenty of staff – if the lawyer handling your matter goes on leave, there is usually someone who can step in while they are away. The downside is that the person you end up dealing may be in a different city or even interstate.
Benefits of a local firm
- Reputation – if a local firm has provided poor service or advice or not properly handled a matter for other clients, the odds are very good that you will have heard about it. This allows you to weed out any sub-par firms and ensures you don’t end up hiring a dud lawyer.
- Price – national firms have many offices and large overheads. These high costs mean that they need their lawyers to charge a higher rate in order to make a profit. A local firm usually only has one set of bills to pay for and this, in turn, will help keep your legal costs down.
- Local knowledge – local Law firms employ local Lawyers. This means you don’t need to explain locality specific factors which might impact on your legal matter.
- Access – Have you ever had a problem and tried to get to the top of the chain with a national company (i.e. a phone or internet provider)? You usually never end up getting past the call centre staff. With a local Law firm, the owner actually cares about whether clients are satisfied and will work with you to resolve any potential problems or complaints.
There are other aspects to hiring a local Law firm which don’t directly benefit you, but which still have an impact in your community. Using local businesses helps strengthen the local economy and makes your town or city more resilient when things aren’t going to plan across the rest of Australia.
At the end of the day, it is important that you are comfortable with the lawyer you choose to represent you, regardless of whether they are part of a national firm or a local one.