Client care letters are often the first written communication a client will receive from a Lawyer, and can provide a good opportunity to develop the relationship with the client.
What is a client care letter?
A client care letter is a document provided by a Lawyer to a client at the point of engagement about the services the Lawyer will provide. Information that should be included in the client care letter include:
- Confirmation of work to be completed
- Estimated costs
- Timescales and next steps
- Who will be dealing with the case
- Who should the client contact on a day to day basis if they have a concern
- Terms of business
- Complaints procedures’
A good client cate letter should be should be short, easy to read and make it obvious who will do what next.
Why is a client care letter important?
A client care letter is the contract between a Lawyer and a client. The client care letter will set out the terms and conditions under which the Lawyer will act for the client. The letter will include details of the work that the lawyer will carry out and how the Lawyer will be paid or remunerated. The letter sets out the right and duties of both parties, and provides protection for both parties in the event of a misunderstanding.
One of the most common complaints made against Lawyers is about a lack of clarity around costs. Being clear about costs at the outset in your client care letter can avoid future complaints.
But, are they really necessary???
A good client care letter that is clear, easy to understand and contains the right information can help a Lawyer by:
- demonstrating the values and high service standards of their business
- reduce potential complaints, by clearly setting out what a client can expect, particularly in relation to costs
- retain clients
- avoid any misunderstandings, and set out what the Lawyer needs from the client to progress their matter or to protect their legal position.
Client care is an essential part of a lawyer’s role. A good client care letter is the perfect opportunity to to get your client ‘on board’ for their legal journey with you.