The Law Superstore, which claims that it will be the UK’s first true legal comparison website, has hit 150 ‘partner’ firms as it gears up to launch to consumers on 1 August.
It said firms across the country have signed up to the site, including Blacks in Yorkshire, Hansells in the East of England, McMillan Williams in London and the South, FBC Manby Bowdler in the West Midlands and Redkite Law in Wales, as well as Express Solicitors in Manchester.
Firms will pay nothing to feature on the website, which will offer users comparisons between practices offering 140 legal services in 12 broad categories. The comparison will be displayed on the basis of criteria chosen by the user, including quality ratings – from user feedback – services, location, expertise and price. Other criteria will include Saturday opening and even parking.
Firms will pay a fee when they are delivered a pre-qualified client – the company said the site has been judged compliant with the ban on personal injury referral fees.
Founder and chief executive Matthew Briggs explained that there would be a “full digital triage process” to qualify leads, with some 6,000 questions – prepared in conjunction with member firms – ready to be asked depending on the user’s previous answer, driven by an artificial intelligence algorithm.
In all, users would have to answer about 10-15 “rapid fire and intuitive” questions, which would take about a minute to complete, to find exactly what they were after, Mr Briggs said.
Firms can pay for an enhanced look for their listing when it comes up on a search, but they cannot pay to appear higher up in the results. They can choose the services, price and scope of the work they want to be visible to potential new customers, and can turn their profile on and off as they want.
There will be a cap on the number of firms who can be members of the Law Superstore, but Mr Briggs would not say what that would be or when it might be reached. It depends, he said, on the needs of affinity partners and also an expansion into further legal services.
When first announced last year, The Law Superstore aimed to open to consumers in March 2016, but Mr Briggs said it had been delayed because of functionality that had been added as a result of law firm and consumer feedback.
He added: “Some of the traditionalists we have spoken to are sceptical about using technology to generate new business. But they are in danger of being left behind as the early adopters reap the benefits of partnering with an organisation that specialises in generating new business, leaving law firms to focus on their core area of expertise – the law.”
- Firms that sign up and populate the partner and pricing area of the website before 30 June will receive two months of fee-free case referrals during August and September 2016. Click here.