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To celebrate 165 years of practising law in South London, local Solicitors Grant Saw recently arranged an event at the prestigious Trafalgar Tavern on the Greenwich waterfront for a number of local property agents and surveyors. It gave an opportunity for discussions about current market conditions, especially following the Brexit vote.

Whilst there has been a growing trend by legal services providers to attempt to “commoditise” and provide legal services via unqualified lawyers, perhaps overseen by a “lawyer-manager”, Grant Saw Head of Conveyancing Maria Lati is convinced that this is not what clients in Greenwich and Blackheath want, and this was borne out in discussions during the evening. “Most agents were telling us that clients want what we offer- legal services provided by qualified lawyers so that every client is dealing with an experienced solicitor or legal executive who is a “property specialist” and not just a ‘conveyancer’”, Maria said.

With the Government set to trigger the process leading to Britain’s exit from the European Union, the mood of the agents seemed cautiously optimistic. “The weaker pound continues to make London an attractive investment option, which offsets the uncertainties of Brexit and compensates for the new higher stamp duty rates on second properties”, one agent told Maria.

With the party in full swing, Maria explained: “Whatever the future holds, clients in this area want a personal service and for their lawyers to empower them to make informed choices.  A client is not just ‘just a file’, they are a person and we want to build a relationship throughout their lifetime so we can provide legal services that meet their needs- whether that’s buying their first home, making a Will or setting up a business through life’s changing circumstances such a disputes, separation and end of life care.”

The practice of law has changed a lot since the days of quill pens, and before typewriters and telephones interrupted the peace of the working day. Grant Saw has recently been investing in IT and online resources to improve quality of work, speed and efficiency.

The firm jealously guards its four quality accreditations “because”, says Maria, “they set you apart from your competitors”.  She is proud that the conveyancing department achieved second place as Small Conveyancing Firm of the year at the Law Firm Services Awards in 2015. 

Maria believes that law firms need to focus on being part of the local community. That is why the firm sponsors Blackheath Rugby Club, events at Blackheath Halls and nominates a local charity every year (this year it is Demelza Hospice Care) and it sponsors some local school events too.

As the event drew to a close, the firm’s lawyers reflected gratefully on the large and loyal client base that the firm has maintained in Greenwich and Blackheath over the years. Maria mused: “It’s easier to stay in touch with our clients now with our client newsletters being emailed out quarterly or available online. And I do wonder what Mr Saw back in 1851 would have made of the new instant communication “pop-up” form on our website?!”

 

You can use the form at www.grantsaw.com. Telephone calls (020 8858 6971) and letters written in ink with a quill pen are also acceptable.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.