“Satisfaction levels do not tell the whole story” – consumer panel defends survey findings

Shopping around: helps make market competitive, says panel

The findings from the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s latest tracker survey that people are generally satisfied with their lawyers does not detract from the concerns over their lack of shopping around before choosing one, the panel has said.

As reported yesterday, the panel said the legal services market was “at a standstill”, with consumers still relying “too heavily on reputation” and reluctant to shop around.

There was criticism on social media of the panel’s findings, with solicitors arguing that the high levels of satisfaction – 80% of consumers were satisfied with the service they received, and 83% with the outcome – did not indicate a problem in the market.

A panel spokeswoman told Legal Futures: “The panel thinks it is crucially important that consumers are shopping around.

“Consumers have an important role to play in ensuring that this market is competitive, without their participation or engagement (through shopping around and comparing) competition wouldn’t flourish, as confirmed by the [report last year of the] Competition and Markets Authority.”

She continued: “Also, if we accept that there is unmet legal need, then we must also accept that those who are accessing the service are but a small part of those who need legal services. Those who access the service are satisfied, but what about those who can’t?

“There is still a considerable problem with those locked out for reasons other than affordability. There is still a lot of work to be done on price and quality information as we know – addressing these issues could facilitate shopping around and access.

“While the panel welcomes service satisfaction levels, we are also acutely aware that service level is just one part of the story – consumers struggle to assess the quality of advice, and this is equally, if not more so important.”

The spokeswoman added that buying on recommendation was not a concern in itself “if it is bolstered by other forms of shopping around”.

She explained: “If I ask my friend to recommend a lawyer and she recommends a fantastic solicitor who did her conveyancing, but I was looking for a family lawyer, then it may not be that helpful.”

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


No larger firm can ignore the demands of innovation – that was the clear message from our most recent roundtable: “The law firm of the future”, sponsored by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions. It comes in many forms, predominantly but not just technology, and is not simply a case of automating process. Expertise and process are not mutually exclusive.


18 July 2019

Good company – general counsel’s difficult balancing act

Company behaviour and the ethical responsibility of general counsel is a sensitive subject, because the status and influence of the role can vary considerably from one entity to another, and the issue can be complicated.

Read More

Loading animation