Economic pressures forcing solicitors to ‘commoditise’ their advice “throw into sharp focus the need for standard form letters of advice to be clear in their exposition”, the Court of Appeal warned yesterday.
The Chief Legal Ombudsman today warned of the risk of a payment protection insurance-type scandal engulfing the legal profession after collecting evidence of clients being sold complex and confusing legal products that they often struggled to understand.
The spiralling costs of legal services is prompting some leading general counsel to consider a “production line” approach to handling legal work, with more companies looking to go offshore or in-house, according to new research from an Oxford professor.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) believes that medium-sized City law firms are likely to be the primary targets for external investors, Legal Futures can reveal. It is one of the predictions in a draft impact assessment of alternative business structures that is still being worked on at the LSB.
The news that QualitySolicitors (QS) had bought 10,000 TV advertising slots in November was met with disbelief by my marketing director: ‘In one month? Impossible – there’d be no room for the programmes!’
Martin Gregory of Legal Futures Associate Lateral Law argues that one response to commoditisation is for solicitors to offer different clients different levels of service at different prices.
The first of a series of extracts from Climate Change, a report on the impact of the Legal Services Act published by accountants Baker Tilly, considers what kinds of law firms and investors will be interested in taking advantage of alternative business structures. And just what would a big law firm do with a £50m cash injection?
Personal injury claims and other low-value legal matters should be “delawyered” to some degree, former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has argued. The peer, who was the architect of the Legal Services Act, said alternative business structures would help in this process. Welcoming the “commoditisation” of personal injury work, he said it is “fundamentally a good thing that the market should only be charged what the service requires”.
Indian legal process outsourcers see “a fat, complacent and profitable market place” in England and Wales “and they want a piece of it”, solicitors were warned last week. Mark Jones, former managing partner of Addleshaw Goddard, described legal process outsourcing as “a game changer for all of us” – 25% of Slaughter and May’s work is outsourceable, as is 50% of his own firm’s and maybe 100% for firms outside the top 50.
This decade will see the emergence of a new wave of global law firms, driven by the accelerated worldwide legal needs of the largest companies, new research has predicted. It suggest an increasing role for outsourcing as clients become more sophisticated.