Category Archives:

  • -

Guard Your Online Rep!

Guard Your Online Rep!


RTLcooperative Members Now Have FREE Rep management carried out by Alice.

  • -

Can You Trust Online Reviews?

Can You Trust Online Reviews?

At we use a third party site called Trust Pilot to host our reviews and seek reviews from clients on our behalf. Other members of the RTLcooperative use different methods including simply hosting the testimonials on their main website. have provided client testimonials on their website.

More than ever before people are inundated with choice whether they are buying a washing machine or selecting a lawyer to fight an impoirtant case for them. We all tend to find that personal stories go a long way in describing if a compnay can meet our own needs so it is not at all surprising that testimonials play a major role in the purchasing decisions made by todays savvy online purchasers.

But can we trust those online reviews. With a firm like Easyanswering they will allow you to speak to clients and hear exacly what the service is like, with companies like roadtrafficlaw they offer masses of detailed case reviews and testimonials and also offer to put you in touch with those foremr clients who will allow such access. Solicitors have a real difficulty with reviews as they require to observe strict client confirdentiality codes, even when the case has finished and that is where a third party site, like Trust Pilot, really come into its own

Here are some signs to watch out for to make sure you get the facts and not the fiction when it comes to online reviews.


Check out the reviewer

Your first point of reference should be the person who left the review. They are more likely to be a legitimate person if the following checks out:

  • They have been using the site for a long time before leaving the review
  • They have left reviews for other products
  • They have friends or belong to a network

All of these point to the behaviors of a real person who can be deemed impartial. If the review has only just joined the site or only left a review for the product or service in question, then you may want to consider basing your purchase on their advice.




Verified customers

Many websites run employ services such as Revoo to help provide transparent and authentic feedback on their products. The review is actually part of the purchasing process so that you can be sure that only those that actually purchased the product have left a review.

Confirmed Purchase


Shop around

If you’re shopping for a big ticket item or booking at a pricey hotel, it is definitely worth checking reviews on many different sites and even social networks.

If something has great reviews on Yelp or Google Reviews, may have a bad rating on Trip Advisor, Amazon or another service. If the reviews differ significantly, it is certainly worth investigating a little further into them.

A quick search on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t hurt either. Check out any mentions of the product name or if a restaurant or hotel, visit their Twitter page to see how people are engaging with them. If there’s a lot of angry customers complaining, you may want to think twice before booking!

Do you have any tips to get trusted review online? Let me know on Twitter or on Facebook.

Thanks to Charlie Sanchez at AVG Software for the above hints and tips on his Blog post

  • -

Starting Up A New Business?

Starting Up A New Business? (From the Law Society Of Scotland –as amended by rtlcooperative)

Setting up your own business involves making some of the biggest decisions of your life. And before your new venture is up and running, there are even more day-to-day decisions to be made. A solicitor can guide you through this tricky process, protecting your business and helping you avoid costly pitfalls. With the legal and financial issues watertight, you can focus on what you do best – building a successful business.

Business structure

One of the first, and most important, decisions you will make is the structure that best suits your business needs. The options – sole trader, partnership, limited company or limited liability partnership – involve different legal requirements, for instance, when making agreements and keeping company records. To help avoid disputes, it is important to set out the relationships between those involved in running the business. Franchising can also be an attractive option. Your solicitor can give independent advice and assistance on business structures and their legal requirements.


Many of those starting a business need to borrow money to do so. If so, the lender may want security over the business premises or other private property. A solicitor can help identify different sources of finance, explain the terms that lenders are offering, outline the risks involved and help with negotiations. You also need to think about your personal finances, how will you be able to afford a pension? What happens if you are too ill to work? Can you get cover for key personnel insurance?

That is when it is time to consider the advice of a Financial Planner such as Fergus Muirhead. Fergus is well renowned in Scotland.

Fergus has years of experience helping people manage their money, both as a professionally qualified Certified Financial Planner and as a regular writer and broadcaster across a wide range of programmes, magazines and newspapers.

These days he can be heard on the John Beattie Show advising viewers and listeners on money and consumer issues. Fergus was a regular on GMTV and has also appeared on Channel 4 hit programme Location Location Location. He was Woman’s Own Consumer Champion for five years, helping hundreds of readers find solutions to their consumer problems.



It is important to find the right premises, whether leasing a shop, renting an office or running a business from your laptop. But problems can arise, for instance, understanding the terms of a lease or finalising a property purchase. Solicitors understand the legal complexities and are familiar with local property markets.

Taxes and insurance

New businesses must register with HM Revenue & Customs and are expected to pay national insurance. Other tax issues may arise, for instance, over VAT, inheritance tax planning and trading abroad.

A range of different types of insurance is available to help businesses protect against risks. A solicitor can guide you through these issues.

Employing staff

The rules for employing staff are complicated – and constantly changing. Solicitors can give specialist advice on the rights of employees and employers, drawing up contracts and dealing with any disputes that occur. Consider outsourcing. Staff costs can be crippling for any new company so why not consider outsourcing some of your staff requirements. A fantastic way to do this, is to use a company such as A Scottish company who are local, yet have a broad range of experience, that is world wide. They will answer your phones as if they are based in your office and wil provide a highly professional service for you at a fraction of the cost of employing your own secretary or PA.

As Helen at says “My team of PA’s and I have been delivering a telephone answering and virtual office service since 2004. And the only thing that has changed in that time is the range of services we now offer and our name which resulted from our re-branding in November 2011.. Our personal professional telephone answering service has been a constant since we answered our first call for our first client way back then – incidentally that same client still uses our service. So you could say that after all these years we obviously do something great.”


Problems can arise for a number of reasons – contractual disputes with suppliers, recovering bad debt, disagreement with business colleagues or associates – so it is vital to receive professional advice and, if necessary, representation. Solicitors have the expertise to draw up terms of business and review contracts. More serious disputes do not necessarily end up in court. Your solicitor can help you avoid disputes in the first place or, if need be, arrange mediation.

Further information

Whatever the legal issue – from data protection and product liability to advising what you can say in promotional material, protecting your ideas and applying for licences – a Scottish solicitor can help. Use our website to find a solicitor.


  • -

How to Find Support and Assistance for Your Business

How to Find Support and Assistance for Your Business


I am one of those bores who keeps extolling the virtues of the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s theorem, however the response I often get from other lawyers and business people on an almost daily basis is how can I delegate when I don’t have the time to even think about what I need done?

When your practice gets a little too busy and too hot to handle then it is time to delegate or get some help in to establish some breathing space. You need to work “on your business and not in it” as the business gurus say! A Virtual PA can be a temporary solution or may even be a long term solution to your business bottleneck.

However, it’s not easy to find good, reliable support. Many independent contractors are unreliable, unavailable when you need them, or their work quality is not up to speed. It may be that it takes you too much time explaining what you need done to ever trust them to actually deal with  the task in hand. A practical suggestion at this stage is to ask an employee who carries out a regular piece of work for you to write down the full sequence of events involved in that sequence and to provide examples of the type of things they say or write or do when carrying out that procedure. This will take you a long way to breaking down a role into manageable chunks that can be delegated when required.

There are many options when it comes to searching for and utilizing outside contractors.
Here are a few of the basic options:

If you need secretarial support and support with those phones, then you do not want to be tied into an expensive contract with high monthly recurring fees. The answer I have used at Roadtrafficaw is

I would not hesitate to recomend the ladies at for all the members of the RTLcooperative as they have proved to me over the years that they really do care about your business and they consistently deliver a high standard of service. We have been using their service for a couple of years now so I speak from experience.

Your calls are answered by one of your 3 named PA’s – not by “the next available operator” – they will quickly get to know you, your business and importantly your customers. They tailor their service to their client’s requirements and not to what they think you need – they appreciate that every client is different. They will assign 3 named PA’s one of whom will be your account manager, so your calls are answered by someone who knows about you and your business and not simply “the next available operator. No long term contracts. Clients choose to use them because they want to, not because they are tied to a contract. Charges are very simple. You pay for messages relayed – and not for every call logged on your incoming line. They screen your calls for unwanted callers including unsolicited sales calls. This means that you can manage your budget and your time much more effectively. Because the ladies are local (Based in Hamilton) your clients get the feeling that they are based right there in your office and it makes for a easy trasition to pass on calls and messages.



1. Temp or Staff Agencies

One common source for contract staffing is placement agencies. The benefit of these agencies is they have done all the hard work of sorting through and vetting hundreds of job seekers, with the goal of finding someone who is a better fit for your needs.
The drawback of placement or temp agencies is the additional cost. “Contract recruitment agencies have a set percentage or fee which they recoup and this doesn’t vary that much, regardless of the hourly rate paid to the contractor,” Several agencies meet the demand in Glasgow.

Jobs, careers, employment and recruitment at Central - Celebrating 10 years helping you find recruitment agencies

2. Other Professionals In Your Industry

One great source for finding extra help is simply by talking to other people in your line of work. Get in touch with the Glasgow Bar Association and ask if they are aware of any lawyers or legal staff that might meet your needs. Check the Notrice Board at your local court common room.  You can draft up an email to your equals at other firms and tell them you need extra help. You may find someone whose practice is currently a little slow and would be willing to do the work. They may be willing to lend you a staff member just like the football teams do nowadays relieving the burden of long term salary obligation for a staff member that isn’t needed, at that present time. It may even be someone they want to share to improve the level of experience that the person receives.  Have a look at Sharing A Trainee Solicitor.

3. Gumtree

Gumtree has a tremendously popular jobs board, and you can post a job announcement for a few quid. Advertise for exactly what you want. And if you do hire a temporary worker permanently, you will not have to pay a mega finders fee like you would, if you  had you gone through an agency.
There is also a section on Craigslist called “Resumes” which allows any job seeker to post their resume or qualifications. If you search in this section for “lawyer,” “attorney,” or “paralegal,” then you can find just lawyers, attorneys or paralegals who are looking for work.
As with any hire, you should verify their qualifications by calling their references before making a hiring decision. Don’t over look this as people can be VERY economical with the truth when they post for a job online.

4. University Job Boards

Get your secretary or assistant to take a hike up to the Uni. Just kidding! Go online and search for the University notice boards or email direct to the Faculty where you think they may have some hidden talent waiting to be discovered. eg If you are making a video for your business you might want to try the Film school or if you are making a radio commercial or Podcast you might want to try the Media training courses. Check out local online University job boards. Most universities have dedicated jobs websites where they will allow you to post an ad to their system for free.
You may also want to contact the local university career offices directly. I contacted my law school’s Dilploma office Director, Eileen Patterson, and she said she recommends that employers post a job to the Law school’s LinkedIn Group, as the students all look to develop their CVs online and they are encouraged topost to LinkedIn


5. Post a Notice on Your Website or OUR website (

You may also draft up a job description, the duration of the assignment, and any other requirements and post it on your website or blog. You can then share this post by emailing the link to others or by posting it to social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Send it to us at the RTLcooperative and we will post it here and send out an email to the members of the cooperative.
Do you have any better suggestions for finding good independent contractors? Please leave your ideas in the comments below.



Graham Walker LLb, DipLP, NP

Practising Solicitor Scotland