SMEs have a wide and varied range of legal needs and almost half have regular needs, i.e. a legal issue at least once a month. These legal needs are addressed in numerous ways: law firms and solicitors are the main source of legal advice for SMEs but they are only used by a third of SMEs in this survey reflecting the competitive nature of this particular legal advice sector.
There are clear opportunities in this sector for legal advice providers as almost half of all SMEs are expecting to increase their demand for legal advice in the next 18 months and, in particular, will be looking for more legal advice related to redundancies, new ways of working, employment contract changes, and financial issues following the pandemic. Over half of SMEs surveyed are expecting to make some staff redundant once furlough ends.
There are also opportunities for more flexible pricing models: hourly fees still account for the most used payment method but more SMEs would prefer other options like fixed fees or retainer/subscription based models. Flexible approaches to the client-advisor relationship are shown by the fact that over a quarter of SMEs have already embedded external legal advisors into their business at some point to fill staff gaps or to work on specific projects for example.
Report PDF is dispatched when payment cleared