Find a Property Litigation Solicitor

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Find a Property Litigation Solicitor

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The need for a specialist solicitor

any home-owners who encounter a problem with a neighbour and need legal advice will automatically turn to the solicitor they used when they purchased their house. Such a conveyancing solicitor usually is not equipped to deal with a boundary dispute. You should therefore turn instead to the relevant specialist: a property litigation solicitor in the case of a boundary dispute.

Finding the right solicitor to do most specialist legal tasks can be difficult. The legal profession lacks a referral system equivalent to the NHS referral system. With the NHS system, a patient either consults a family doctor or presents himself at a hospital's accident and emergency unit. In either case, the doctor deals only with those cases he is capable of treating, and refers the remainder to a more specialised doctor. No law firm boasts such a referral system, so you may feel confused as you are left alone to identify the right kind of solicitor for the task that you require to be done.

There are as many different legal specialisms as there are medical - or surveying - specialisms. So how do you go about finding the right solicitor?

Finding a solicitor in a Yellow Pages local directory

Before the arrival of the Internet the hardcopy of the Yellow Pages directory delivered free to your door was the obvious choice. A law firm's presence in Yellow Pages might be as brief as a single line entry, or as bold as a full page advertisement.

A single line entry identifies the firm, its postal address (but, oddly, not its postcode), and its telephone number. There is no information at all about the specialisms in which the firm practises.

A full page advertisement can tell you a lot more. For example, one such advertisement placed by a leading firm lists its specialisms as:

  • Civil & Commerical Litigation
  • Commercial Conveyancing
  • Company / Commercial / Partnerships
  • Criminal Defence
  • Employment
  • Family / Divorce / Childcare
  • Immigration
  • Personal Injury
  • Residential Conveyancing
  • Wills / Probate / Tax Planning

One thing that you don't notice on that list is "Boundary Disputes". So, does this firm handle boundary disputes? Well, maybe. Boundary disputes come under the heading of "Property Litigation", which is a form of "Civil Litigation", so perhaps, but only perhaps, they do handle boundary disputes.

Web sites: law firms describe themselves more fully

A firm that has posted a web site on the Internet is much less constrained by space on its web site than it is in its Yellow Pages advertisements. The same firm from whose Yellow Pages specialisms I have derived the above list of specialisms has a reasonably large web site that devotes a whole page to "Civil Litigation". On that page it devotes three or four paragraphs to each of the following topics:

  • Property Disputes
  • Probate Disputes
  • Contract Disputes
  • Bankruptcy
  • Defamation
  • Other Kinds Of Disputes

The section on "Property Disputes" mentions words and phrases such as: "neighbour", "land law", "property boundaries", "rights of way", "adverse possession", "nuisance". So it seems that this firm might have the expertise you seek.

Usefully, this firm has a "Contacts" page, with a link to another page called "Our Experts" that aims to give you advice in a specific area of law. This leads you to pages that profile individual solicitors and give you their contact details.

Internet searching for a law firm

So that's the theory. But how do you find the web site of a suitable law firm? This is where Internet search engines help. But you need a bit of sophistication in your query in order to focus the results onto your particular needs. So you must tell the search engine that you are seeking:

  • a solicitor
  • who specialises in property litigation
  • and who practices within a particular geographic area.

You need to state all of these requirements in a single search. You should note that if you enter the words property and litigation into the same search then the search engine will look up all references to property and all references to litigation, which is probably not going to return a very useful list of web sites, so it is best to put the term "property litigation" in quotes.

You also need to exrcise care in specifiying your geographical search area. For example, if you live in the small town of Frodsham in North Cheshire then entering the three search terms:

  • Solicitor   "Property Litigation"   Frodsham

will not return any useful results.

Refining your internet search

The first refinement needed is clearly in redefining your geographical area.
  • Solicitor "Property Litigation" Cheshire

yields marginally better results, whereas

  • Solicitor "Property Litigation" Liverpool

returns five law firms (within the first ten listed results) who deal with boundary disputes.

A second refinement requires that you are tuned in to the terminology used by different law firms. Some firms prefer to advertise their expertise in "Neighbour Disputes". This term covers all kinds of disputes between neighbours, not just property realted matters. And it is term that is probably more easily understood by the general public. So it may be appropriate to also search for:

  • Solicitor "Neighbour Disputes" Liverpool

A third refinement is to add a fourth term to reflect a more specific requirement. For example, if your dispute concerns a right of way then your search might be expressed as:

  • Solicitor "Property Litigation" "private right of way" Liverpool


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