There is a “huge future” for high street law firms, but the way ahead will be for practices to become more specialised, the new chairman of the Sole Practitioners Group (SPG) has said.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has widened its definition of a ‘small firm’ by doubling the annual turnover limit from £200,000 to £400,000. The limit of four on the number of managers is not changing.
Not so clever: 80% of lawyers rate themselves as ‘above average’ but only 40% of clients see it that way
Although 80% of lawyers at small firms rate their services as ‘above average’ only 40% of clients rate them that way, a major study has found. The survey found that lawyers misunderstood clients’ priorities.
Delegates at the Global Law Summit have questioned why a major report on the health of the legal services industry included so little on new entrants to the market, smaller firms and diversity.
Business consultancy Assure Law has acquired a majority stake in HighStreetLawyer.com, the network of small firms, and plans to expand it substantially.
Professor Avrom Sherr, one of the country’s leading legal academics, has said that “nobody listens to the Law Society” since it lost its regulatory role.
Barrister entrepreneur William Rees has launched an online drafting service aimed at mainly at solicitors in small firms. The business provides “customised templates”, which aim to be more tailored to lawyers’ requirements and individual cases than traditional precedents.
There is real potential for alternative business structures (ABSs) to have a positive impact on both the profession and consumers, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said. The provisional conclusions of an equality impact assessment said solicitors would benefit from improved employment opportunities, while ABSs would facilitate improved access to legal services for consumers.