The Australian legal landscape is complex as it is dynamic. As our economic, political, and social domains rapidly evolve, so too does our need to stay on top of what this means for us. As we endeavour to manage our own affairs, determining what is legal – and most advantageous – can be difficult.
Whether you are proactively seeking guidance or faced with the need to respond, working with a leading lawyer is crucial. Not only are lawyer’s expert practitioners in law; they also strive to obtain the best results for their clients. Fluent in the ins and outs of governing legislation, a great lawyer can help to present pathways, provide clarity on implications, and navigate the journey.
Yet, with so many wonderful law firms within the Wagga region, how does one select the right one? From specialisation and expertise through to transparency and your own personal connection, there are many key factors to consider. To help get you started, we’ve suggested some evaluation criteria along with our pick of the Riverina’s best.
What makes a great lawyer?
Engaging a reputable lawyer offer many countless benefits. Not only can their expertise demystify legal proceedings and mitigate fatal errors; it can also streamline the experience whilst minimising stress. Here is what we think separates the best lawyers from the rest:
- Qualified & experienced. By enlisting the support of a qualified and experienced lawyer, you should expect nothing less than technical excellence. Beyond essential qualifications and practising certification, the best lawyers are also reputable – with years, if not decades of experience. Should your case present more complex challenges, this experience will be invaluable.
- Specialist knowledge. Legal parameters within all facets of national and state law are wide as they are diverse. Most lawyers specialise within a given area, be it employment, criminal, commercial, or family law for example. Thus, seeking counsel from a lawyer specialised in your area of need is vital. A specialised lawyer provides a greater understanding of governing legislation in their area, along with necessary related case experience. Moreover, as some facets of law are linked, consider whether a given lawyer practises across those needed.
- Options & strategies. From time to time, knowing what to do next isn’t so clear-cut. That is why finding a lawyer that presents options and devises strategies is so important. Any good lawyer will review options, present potential avenues, and flag pros and cons. Great lawyers, however, draw on their experience and insight, finding unique and innovative strategies for success. And the very best demonstrate a relentless perseverance; seeking solutions whenever roadblocks appear.
- Empathetic & understanding. While every client’s situation is unique, the stakes are often higher for some over others. Here, any great lawyer should express a genuine sense of sincerity. Key to this is empathy and understanding; providing safe hands and helping clients reclaim control. Take the time to meet with potential lawyers to get a feel for their demeanour may work for you.
- Prompt. While the value of sound legal advice cannot be understated, equally as important is efficiency. Correct client prioritising and the delivery of prompt service is what separates the best from the rest. Moreover, consider a potential lawyer’s accessibility, and whether their availability works for you. Keep in mind that lawyers often charge by the hour, so their prompt attention is key to ensuring your receive value.
The best lawyers in Wagga
Region Riverina has combed through online reviews and recommendations to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Wagga series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Region Riverina and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
First founded in the Illawarra over 130 years ago, RMB Lawyers have grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious legal firms in regional New South Wales. Known for their esteemed standards and exceptional professionalism, RMB Lawyers now boast sixteen convenient locations throughout the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Central West, Goulburn, Queanbeyan, and right here in Wagga Wagga.
Although mighty, RMB Lawyers operate under a simple, single premise – to provide expert legal advice, and to do so with a human touch. While they work alongside thousands of clients Australia wide, they pride themselves on providing effective and efficient local servicing in the communities in which they operate.
Core to this notion is the delivery of personalised attentive service, diligently placing the client front and centre. Here, RMB Lawyers provide practical, timely and cost-effective assistance focused on achieving client objectives. Importantly, their team of experienced solicitors and accredited specialists passionately guide clients throughout the entire legal process, whilst offering support, understanding, and compassion.
Their dedicated team administer across multiple legal facilities, including compensation, business law, conveyancing, property and real estate law, estate planning and family and relationships law. With close to fifty legal practitioners and seven Accredited Specialists, RMB Lawyers present a high degree of technical prowess that is deep as it is wide. Their functional teams seamlessly operate across set divisions, be it business and commercial transactions, dispute resolution, conveyancing, wills and estates, family and relationships, compensation and personal injury, and workplace and employment law.
If you are seeking the services of an outcomes driven client-centric legal team, look no further than RMB Lawyers Wagga Wagga.
Happy client Karin Sheedy shared this sentiment on Google, “Very prompt, professional and friendly staff across a range of departments. We have used RMB lawyers for many years, (both with visits to their offices and via phone and internet) and will continue to do so. We highly recommend RMB to anyone seeking legal advice.”
Established in 2017 by Rhys Bower and Nick Wood, their namesake, Bower Wood Lawyers have quickly grown to be on the regions most reputable firms. Perhaps a key driver to this is their philosophy, focusing on the client – and delivering exceptional service, keeping one’s word, and above all else integrity.
Bower Wood Lawyers specialise in business and commercial law, conveyancing and property, and estate planning and administration. For added convenience they are available across three locations, Wagga Wagga, Tumbarumba, and Coolamon.
Helen Supple had this to say on Google, “I am happy to recommend Rhys Bower and the team at Bower Wood Lawyers in Wagga. I have used them for property conveyancing and estate matters. The team are always professional, prompt, and pro-active. They are pleasant and explain matters of law in a relatable manner taking the stress out of legal matters. I will certainly use them again when legal services are required.”
Boutique firm, Tanard’s Law, are specialists in criminal, traffic, and family law. Directors Zac Tankard and Stephen Groch take pride in their client-focussed approach, each bringing decades of legal experience to the table.
With an exclusive focus on these areas, Tankard’s Law provides some of the best specialist representation in the Riverina. Importantly, they appreciate the unique challenges that these circumstances may impose on clients and strive to achieve optimum outcomes.
As Zane stated on Google, “Can't fault my experience with Zac. He's professional, thorough, and genuine. Felt completely reassured every step of the way, and he achieved an amazing outcome for me. Thanks again Zac, I can't recommend you highly enough.”
Established in 1892, Walsh & Blair stands as one of the largest and most esteemed regional law firms in New South Wales. Their longevity is reflective of their continued success for clients, along with their high standards of professionalism and service.
Addressing the priorities of private individuals and small business clients, Walsh and Blair’s team of accredited lawyers can assist with compensation, family law, business law, criminal law, conveyancing, succession planning, and migration.
Susan Jones shared this review on Google, “I have had a number of dealings with Walsh and Blair. I found the staff very courteous and efficient. My solicitor Kate Holt has always been trustworthy and reliable. The professionalism shown to has been exceptional. I would recommend this company to all who may need this high quality of service.”
Touted as one the region’s largest law firms, Commins Hendriks have been proudly servicing the regional community for over a century. With seven offices across the Riverina extending all the way to the nation’s capital, they present a wealth of experience across multiple facets of law.
With specialists in family law, wills and estates, property, compensation, business, litigation, and criminal law, their twenty-plus team of solicitors operate under the values of respect, integrity, and results.
Belinda Jordan shared this feedback on Google, “We want to thank Rebecca Collins and the amazing team at Commins Hendriks Solicitors Wagga! Rebecca has been instrumental in helping us over the last 12+ months navigate the unfinished & major defective works left by our bankrupt builder & some of his trades. We cannot thank her enough for all her help during this awful time for our family.”
Your experience with lawyers in Wagga
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the lawyers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifications should I look for in a lawyer?
In Australia, lawyers gain their qualifications through accomplishing a Bachelor of Law degree, completing several years of practical training in the field, and successfully gaining a Practicing Certificate from the NSW Bar Association or Law Society of NSW. This ensures that all qualified lawyers not only know the law when they enter the workforce, but also come armed with years of experience before they've even officially served as a lawyer.
What is the difference between a solicitor and a barrister?
While solicitors and barristers are both lawyers, the difference is in the type of legal work they do. Generally, when legal advice or representation is needed most people turn to a solicitor. For more complex issues that will be heard in a higher court a barrister may be engaged. Barristers then advocate on behalf of their clients in court, often working alongside solicitors. For greater clarity contact your local law firm.
How much does a lawyer cost?
Costs tend to be linked to the seniority of practitioners and the complexity of the situation they are assisting with. A good rule of thumb is that the more legal input required, and the more time involved, and the higher the expense. Some law firms may offer a fixed fee structure, some offer a no win no fee structure, while others work to an hourly rate. Hourly rates typically range from $250 per hour for a junior lawyer to upwards of $8,000 per hour for a senior partner or principal. Additional charges may also apply for things like extra meetings or court attendances. Always review the payment structure for your lawyer to understand how they charge, and any additional billable components therein.
How should I prepare to meet with my lawyer?
To get the most out of the first meeting ensure you come prepared. If possible, conduct some independent research about your legal problem and note specific questions. Then, gather and organise any important documents, both copies and originals. Finally prepare a chronology or timeline of events related to your issue. Be sure to contact your lawyer ahead of time for any specifics required for this first meeting.
Can I engage more than one law firm?
Yes, absolutely. This may be the case if you are engaged in more than one legal dispute requiring the expertise of separate specialist lawyers or firms. This will likely impact legal costs, and to streamline proceedings may be worth considering representation from a firm that address all your needs.