Time for brickbats and a few bouquets

The recent Which? survey on solicitors, for all its failings, has some valid points.

The question of costs is one which the profession still has to come to grips with although there has been much improvement on this score since the Law Society introduced its guidelines.

However, there is much room for manoeuvre and firms need to constantly check their procedures to ensure they are dealing with this aspect of business in as professional a manner as they advise on law.

In the midst of the complaints however is some good news for the profession.

For the second year running, The Lawyer/Hifal annual awards are honouring the achievements of the profession.

This event singles out firms, in-house departments, chambers and individuals who have made a difference to the profession. It is all too easy to find fault with many aspects of legal practice. But for those who act in an exemplary fashion, there are fewer channels of acclaim.

There are now more pressures than ever on lawyers to understand and take an active part in the business world. The Lawyer and co-sponsors Hifal want to pay tribute to these lawyers as well as to highlight the importance of client care and the provision of quality legal services.

The awards have been designed to give ample scope for entries from all sides of the profession as well as from locations across the board.

It is not necessary to spend huge amounts of money for example on information technology to win an award – innovative and efficient use of technology is far more important than the actual cash spend.

We hope that the profession will look closely at the array of awards and enter as many categories as are applicable in the coming months.