A family-run firm of funeral directors with 36 branches has become the first of its kind to set up an alternative business structure. Lodge Brothers Legal Services, launched last week, offers fixed-fee services for clients wanting wills, probate and powers of attorney.
A Yorkshire solicitor has launched a website to help small businesses and consumers obtain fixed price unbundled advice. James Martin, founder and director of ClaimItOnline, launched today, said the website was particularly aimed at small businesses with disputes worth up to £50,000.
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.
Online divorce and probate are set to be delivered under the courts modernisation programme by early 2017, the president of the Family Division has said. Sir James Munby also called on family barristers to adopt new working practices, including direct access, unbundling and fixed fees.
Law firms should be required by their regulators to publish details of complaints and average prices on their websites, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said. The panel also called for the publication of firms’ litigation outcomes and success rates.
Legal Beagles, a consumer rights forum, has launched a comparison website using its own research on fixed fees to decide which law firms are listed. Kate Briscoe, chief executive of Legal Beagles, said only around 500 firms published fixed fees on their websites.
There are positive signs about improving consumer satisfaction with how they find, compare and then use law firms, major research by the Legal Services Consumer Panel has revealed. However, the panel said more vulnerable consumers “are potentially being left behind as those more empowered are able to take advantage of market changes”.
The former chief executive of Quindell Legal Services (QLS) has admitted that he was wrong to sell a business he had built up over 13 years to the troubled plc two years ago. However, Phil Hodgkinson said he had learnt a lot from the “Quindell experience”.
A law firm set up to give the public quick and easy online access to barristers’ opinions has been launched by a criminal law solicitor along with two QCs and around 20 chambers across the country.
A new firm which aims to break the mould of advice to start-ups and SMEs by recruiting lawyers who run their own businesses has opened in London. It is operating as a trading name of ‘virtual firm’ gunnercooke