Close to half of consumers of legal services are not satisfied with the value for money they received, with probate providing the least satisfaction and will writing the most, according to research. Just 57% considered they received value for money on average.
A single scheme joining up professional indemnity insurance and compensation funds across the whole legal services market – including unregulated providers – should be actively explored, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has recommended.
The minority of consumers who shop around for legal services are likely to be more satisfied by the service they receive from their chosen provider, new research has found. The findings on how consumers choose lawyers are likely to give encouragement to high street lawyers.
The use of fixed fees in family, probate and housing cases has risen significantly, leading to far higher rates of client satisfaction than when they pay by the hour, according to a major consumer survey.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has strongly criticised the government’s plan to deny defendants the right to choose their own solicitor under price competitive tendering, with new data showing that legally aided clients are more likely to shop around than any other.
Five legal price comparison websites have signed up to good practice standards issued by two regulators and the Legal Services Consumer Panel – although they are to remain voluntary, with no external validation.
Struck-off solicitors are acting as McKenzie Friends, raising ethical concerns and providing a service that gives no recourse to the Legal Ombudsman, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has warned as it highlighted issues around the unbundling of legal services that it is set to investigate.
There is “a compelling moral and economic case” for the Legal Services Board to pursue initiatives such as an NHS Direct-style telephone service to help people find the legal advice they need, its consumer adviser has urged.
The Legal Services Board yesterday put the seal of approval on the SRA’s plans to regulate the referral fee ban. The news came as the Law Society pressed the LSB to provide reassurance that the way referral fees are regulated will be consistent across the entire legal profession.
A culture of defensiveness among lawyers risks the sort of regulatory failure that occurred in the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital Trust patient neglect scandal – and legal regulators must take heed, the head of the Legal Services Consumer Panel has warned.