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Consumers lukewarm over legal services: research

3 June 2010

UK consumers are looking for quality in legal services, but are lukewarm over a range of possible providers, according to a new study.

A poll of more than 2,000 people, together with in-depth interviews with 100 consumers, revealed that "expense" or "expensive" was the word most commonly associated with the word "solicitor", with almost half considering that they had received poor value for money.

However when six well known brands were put to them as possible providers of legal services, over a third (34%) were not tempted by any of them. Marks & Spencer scored best at 14%; Tesco scored 5%. The other options were Asda, Barclays, Halifax and Virgin. Halifax is the only one of these to have shown interest in providing legal services.

The survey was commissioned by the legal research company Jures (pronounced "Joo-rez"), and is published in a report entitled "Shopping Around: What consumers want from the new legal services market".

When asked what was likely to influence a decision to purchase legal services, 60% named quality, 35% fixed prices, 26% a brand, and 25% the cheapest price.

Face-to-face advice was named as important by 73%.

Report author Jon Robins said the message for law firms was that if they could differentiate themselves in terms of quality of advice and flexibility on costs, they would be giving consumers what they wanted. "It’s a big challenge.” 


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