2019 consumer research findings on use of UK consumer legal services published
24 Apr 2019
UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2019
CONSUMERS FIND IT HARD TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN LAW FIRMS, HAVE LOW BRAND AWARENESS, BUT PUBLISHING PRICE INFORMATION WOULD HELP
The latest consumer research findings from IRN Research show that a majority of adults have used a law firm/solicitor in the last five years, but use of other legal services providers is also growing.
A clear majority find it difficult to differentiate one law firm from another but over three-quarters would be influenced in their choice of law firm by price information on a law firm website, i.e. when choosing between law firms they would choose the one giving clear price information on their site (New price transparency regulations have been introduced requiring law firms in some practice areas to publish prices but some law firms have yet to comply).
The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2019 is the third in a series of new reports from IRN Research (branded as Orchard Reports) on the legal services market and offering insights into consumer behaviour, perceptions, brand awareness, and opinions. This report is based on responses from a national sample of 1,207 consumers.
Other headlines from the survey include:
- Client Loyalty – A typical consumer is likely to need a law firm or solicitor on an occasional basis, but despite this, there is client loyalty with a clear majority ready to go back to a law firm/solicitor they have used before.
- Conveyancing and Wills – Almost half of adults using a law firm or solicitor in the last five years have needed advice on either wills or conveyancing. Both these areas usually involve more advance planning than other areas of consumer law which can be surprise issues. Both are also facing competitive pricing pressures.
- DIY Law – Is growing with over a quarter of individuals undertaking the whole legal process themselves but the majority of these take on some legal tasks and then pass the others to a legal professional.
- Freelance Solicitors – New regulations to be introduced in 2019 mean that freelance solicitors will be able to offer legal services without the need to be employed directly by a law firm or legal practice. Consumers might be attracted to freelancers if they offered flexible services i.e. home visits, out of normal office hours) and lower prices but there would be concerns about the level of consumer protection.
- Brand Awareness – Only four legal brands have awareness levels above 50% and all four are personal injury brands. Leading law firm brands are Irwin Mitchell, Slater & Gordon, Fentons, and Cooperative Legal.
KEY LEGAL BRANDS INCLUDED IN THE SURVEY – AWARENESS AND USE
Accident Advice Helpline, Co-operative Legal, ClaimsDirect, Express Solicitors, Fentons, First4Lawyers, Fletchers, Irwin Mitchell, Minster Law, InjuryLawyers4u, National Accident Helpline, Simpson Millar, Slater & Gordon, Thompsons, Winn Solicitors Plus Admiral Law, DAS, Direct Line, Which?
- Consumer Rights – Of real concern is that very few consumers know about their consumer rights in relation to using legal services. Only 22% of users of legal services knew that their provider was regulated, even less knew about the Legal Ombudsman, and one in five adults did not check their consumer rights or think that they were important.
…………and there is much more analysis/results from the numerous questions asked to individuals. See the Contents Page on the next page for a summary of key themes covered.
The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2019, and the detailed dataset of all survey results with a demographic analysis is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £2,500 (plus VAT). Discounts for report purchase only, dataset only, or purchases of extracts. Further details on our Legal Reports page.