Signature Law LLP

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Signature Law LLP's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Signature Law LLP is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.signaturelaw.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | SIGNATURE LAW LLP
Partner Sital Somaiya
Founded in 2014, Signature Law is a firm of solicitors based
in Cheam, southwest London. Signature Law specialises in
family and immigration law, priding themselves on offering
professional advice and a high-quality service, while their advice
is easy to understand and available in a number of languages.
Partners Sital Somaiya and Charlotte Pugh discuss why they
decided to establish their own firm and explain their hopes for
Signature Law in the future.
We are a committed and approachable firm that provides personal and tailored
services to all of our clients. Our approach is dedicated to providing quality
services that are second to none, while our lawyers pride themselves on delivering
a personalised service at a reasonable price. We can offer a fixed-fee initial
consultation, so potential clients can meet us in our office and discuss their issue
with us, before we begin looking at the best solutions available.
We have both always wanted to establish our own legal practice, so after
completing our training contracts at the same firm we decided to put the wheels
in motion. Our training contracts and subsequent roles had provided us with vital
experience, but we were confident we could do things differently and offer new
ideas and approaches. As a result, as soon as we qualified and developed further
experience, we began the process of establishing Signature Law. We were officially
founded in 2014 and we opened our firm the following year.
Our values
The Signature Law service is centred on our values of fairness, quality and
supporting the local community. Our service aims to assist those who usually
cannot afford access to quality legal representation and to cater for the financial
and personal needs of all our clients. We received our contracts for legal aid in
September 2018 and we have developed specialist financial plans that aim to help
more individuals afford the legal help that they need.
We both trained at a legal aid firm, so we have the experience and knowledge of
what it entails. Both of us have a strong passion for helping legal clients and we
hope to establish a reputation within the field. In addition to this ambition, we will
continue to provide quality services to all of our private clients, while we continually
strive to improve our service.
Growing our client base
Currently, we have more than 150 clients on our books and this is projected to grow
with the onset of more legal aid work this year. Immigration, child and divorce cases
are highly complex and they take a substantial amount of time to complete; however,
we are always increasing our capacity and hope to take on new clients as a result.
AT A GLANCE
SIGNATURE LAW LLP
»Partners: Sital Somaiya and
Charlotte Pugh
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Cheam, Surrey
»No. of employees: 2
»Services: Family and
immigration law, wills and
probate, litigation and
employment
Signature Law LLP
27SIGNATURE LAW LLP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
In order to achieve this goal, we are
both volunteering at local law centres
around two or three times a week.
As part of this process, we provide
free advice to a range of individuals in
our local area, who are then able to
contact us privately should they wish to
do so. This allows us to give something
back to the local community, while
meeting and discussing issues with
potential clients. Our work at the
law centre has been a success and it
has helped us grow from a standing
start into a busy legal practice. We
were part of the team for South West
London Law Centres, who won the
Croydon Mayor’s Awards in 2017 and
which we were incredibly proud to
have been part of. We have also built
a strong reputation in our local area
and have begun work with a number
of clients that have been referred to
us, a trend that we are keen to sustain
moving forward.
Surmounting obstacles
Our first year was very challenging, as
we were trying to establish ourselves
from a standing start. We didn’t have
any clients on our books, so we just
opened our doors and tried to gain
business through marketing ourselves,
networking, meeting potential clients
and establishing a reputation for high-
quality and affordable legal services.
To begin with, financially sustaining
ourselves was difficult as we are in a
very competitive sector, in which it is
difficult to set yourself apart; however,
our persistence and passion for our
work was made clear to everyone
we spoke to. Our reviews speak for
themselves and we are very proud to
have achieved so much in such a short
space of time.
Another key challenge for us has been
the time commitment a lot of our
cases require. We cannot turn around
cases as quickly as we would like to as
a result of excessive red tape, and with
legal aid reductions this is increasing
costs for firms like us. The courts
are required to provide permission
before you can take certain actions
to further a case, and as a result,
the process is slowed down, and the
clients and solicitors lose out. In our
view, a reduction in red tape would
be of substantial benefit to solicitors
and clients. Cases could be turned
around faster, which is beneficial for all
parties, and the changes would have
little to no impact on the quality or
functioningof the system in place.
Looking to the future
We are ambitious, and we hope to
build on the solid foundations that we
have established in the last three years.
Expanding our offices and increasing the
amount of legal aid work we complete is
central to our planning, while recruiting
new people would help catalyse
further development. As we progress,
continual improvement to our service
and enhancing our capacity are our key
aims, so when recruiting we will have
to be very careful to attract the right
skills and personalities, to complement
and augment our processes. Despite
the potential challenges, we are
confident about the future, safe in the
knowledge that we can draw from
our past experiences, in order to push
forward in the best way possible.
Partner Charlotte Pugh
We are
ambitious, and
we hope to build
on the solid
foundations that
we have
established in
the last three
years

www.signaturelaw.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Signature Law LLP. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister