Offering fixed fees is a sign of entrepreneurial lawyers, according to research among small firms which also found that it helps “cement a better client relationship from the start”. The research, by LexisNexis, found that those offering fixed fees were investing more in processes, technology and marketing.
A regulatory agenda that is looking to help consumers shop around for legal advice means that many law firms are running out of time to get to grips with customer service, a report being launched at today’s PI Futures conference has warned.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel said last week that it was “not blind to the challenges of increased price transparency”, but insisted that making lawyers publish “average” prices could be the catalyst for making consumers ask more questions about cost.
There are high levels of consumer satisfaction with legal services, according to a survey commissioned by the Competition and Markets Authority. However, those who were not happy usually did not bother complaining because it was thought to be too time-consuming or would not achieve much.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched an investigation, after medical records relating to personal injury claims were found in a skip outside a law firm’s former office in St Helens, Merseyside. Separately, evidence has emerged of bodyshops releasing personal data to third-party law firms and CMCs.
A solicitor who faked three client care letters and backdated them has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The SDT rejected Rafique Chowdhury’s claims that he acted “in a moment of madness” and was “regularising the files, not seeking to mislead anyone”.
There is a “climate of renewed vulnerability” among smaller law firms, with the vast majority of lawyers believing there are “still rough times ahead”, a report has found. The report also revealed a huge gulf between lawyer and client perceptions of value.
There is a “disturbing level of tunnel vision” among law firms when it comes to adopting modern customer service standards, which could ultimately make the difference between success and failure, according to a report published today. It said that in an ever competitive market, law firms that are not thriving may only have a brief chance to turn things around before it is too late.
The proportion of people selecting their conveyancer on price has fallen to only one in ten, a survey of 5,400 home movers has shown. The same survey found that only three years ago 20% of clients chose the cheapest.
The Legal Services Board is set to instruct the frontline regulators like the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board to get tough with lawyers who do not handle client complaints properly. Draft guidance published for consultation yesterday said that they could stage “supervisory interventions” into poorly performing firms.