Paying Your Solicitors? Make Your Money Work!
There are many reasons to pay money to a firm of Solicitors, some full of hope for the future such as a new home; a new business venture; preparing a will to look after loved ones in the future, others perhaps less joyous, but they all have one thing in common – unless the recipient knows what the money is for, it has no value to anyone.
Monies can be paid over in variety of ways: cash, cheque, BACS, Faster Payments and telegraphic transfers. Each method brings its own challenges for attaching information. It is one thing to visit the law firm office, hand over your hard earned money and receive a receipt, and quite another to walk into a bank branch, complete a paying-in slip with the supplied bank details and pay it in over the counter, or via a machine. In the first instance all necessary information can be gleaned from your visit. In the second scenario the bank statement is usually credited with no information other than the sort code of the branch where the money was deposited. Your solicitors’ accounts department then needs to request a copy of the credit slip from the bank and cross their fingers that some useful information has been written on it somewhere…anywhere!
BACS payments, Faster Payments and TTs are all likely to have been initiated from your own computer system, in the comfort of your own home, or office. There is always room to include a reference and this should be taken advantage of. Solicitors will always include a reference on any communications they send you and this reference is unique to your particular case, this is the most helpful item you can quote on any payments made. If you haven’t got this handy at the time of making the payment then do include your name or your company name at the very least. Following up the payment with a quick email is very useful too, and allows the firm to request further information where needed.
Once money is paid you want it to be applied straight away, but if the accounts department is unable to identify the receipt, there is likely to be some delay while they work with the Solicitors and the bank to allocate the money correctly. A receipt of a certain amount cannot be automatically matched with a promise received to pay the same amount, it is imperative that the Solicitor is certain about who made the payment.
Don’t keep your money (and your case) waiting, do everything you can to “label” it and get it working for you.