The accountancy regulator has decided not to force its firms that provide reserved probate services to publish their fees – unlike the legal regulators.
Law firms are still failing to respond to customer enquiries properly, with a mystery shopper survey showing a “dismally poor” performance in respect of follow-up calls.
A significant proportion of home owners do not trust the law firms they are referred to by estate agents, a survey has found.
Over a third of home movers would be prepared to pay more for a “premium customer service” from their conveyancer, according to new research that also charts how local solicitors have lost ground to licensed conveyancers and online operations. It said that many conveyancing firms were not responding quickly enough to “21st century mindsets”.
A fifth of those buying leaseholds do not recall their solicitors giving them key information such as the length of the lease remaining, service charges and ground rent, according to research commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. But overall, conveyancing clients were generally happy with the service they received.
High street solicitors are losing out to specialist conveyancing businesses in capturing clients, new research has shown, but all lawyers still have much to improve on client communication. More than a third of clients would even consider paying more for a premium service, it found.
Only 11% of small businesses consider solicitors to be good value for money, and most choose not to use them when faced by a legal problem, seeing them as a last resort, according to major new research. It also found that the annual cost of small businesses’ legal problems to the UK economy to be roughly £40bn.
Almost half of conveyancing clients complain of a lack of communication during the process, while two-thirds of conveyancers believe they keep consumers fully informed, a survey has found. Some conveyancers are finding ways of bridging the gap, with the proportion using online portals growing from 4% to 15% in three years.
Fees for conveyancing and lasting powers of attorney have fallen over the past two years, while they have risen for family work, a report by the Legal Services Board has found. It also revealed that only 18% of law firms publish prices for any of their work in these areas on their websites.
The big commercial law firms are not delivering value for money and often fail to stick to budgets, a survey of over 800 corporate clients has found – though some are much worse than others. In all, clients said their solicitors only met or exceeded their expectations on value for money in 49% of cases – DAC Beachcroft was top with 66%.