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Legal Knowledge Alone Isn’t Enough

Steve Williams of Forrest Williams

Steve Williams of Forrest Williams


Legal Knowledge Alone Isn’t Enough


As a lawyer our job is not just about knowing the law, it is also about knowing what is best for each individual client.


Today I was representing a client on a very sensitive charge. He was very nervous about it getting out in the press. He had never been in court before and not surprisingly he was very anxious. He faced serious charges and we hope to be able to avoid prison eventually, but appreciated that the court would initially view the matter as so serious that they would send them to the Crown Court.


We were happy with that because whilst the Crown Court have more sentencing powers and could actually send him to prison for longer we believe that they were likely to be more lenient than the magistrates court. The reason for this is that they are more used to serious charges whereas this would be one of the more serious, and shocking offences that the magistrates would see. A Crown Court Judge would be more likely to be able to put it into perspective. A Crown Court Judge is also more likely to be confident enough to deal with it without sending my client to prison, whereas magistrates can be more inclined to follow their sentencing guidelines strictly.


Having fully prepared in advance we took the view that we would not argue against the matter going to the Crown Court.


We got to court early, and I spoke to the Legal Adviser. Because of the nature of the hearing and because everything had been agreed thanks to our preparation and early arrival, she was able to do it herself and she agreed to deal with it before the magistrates arrived. The client didn’t even need to go into the court room.


The matter was dealt with in seconds; a date for the Crown Court hearing was given and we left the court before it formally opened and before any press arrived.


The client was delighted. We managed to get the matter dealt with without his biggest fears of the day happening – namely having to go into court and the fear of the press being there.


Apart from knowing that this could be done, very little of the result came as a result of legal knowledge. Instead it came from –


Recognising what was important to the client;

Caring enough to do this;

Being fully prepared beforehand;

Having a policy that means we only deal with one client per advocate. You know with us that your lawyer won’t be distracted by juggling several other cases;

Giving clients our focused and undivided attention;

Getting enough publicity from our awards and recognition that we don’t have to seek attention through our clients’ names in the paper


If your case is so important that you want your lawyers’ undivided and personal attention, go private. Call us on 01623 397200 to discuss how we could help you.




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