Consumer Legal Services Report 2020 – results of our annual survey of consumer use of legal services

22 Apr 2020


The latest consumer research findings from IRN Research in UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2020 show that most broadly welcome recent initiatives like publishing price information on law firm websites, and allowing freelance solicitors. Consumers still say that they find it difficult to differentiate one law firm from another, but publishing price information would encourage more than eight out of 10 consumers to choose that law firm over one that does not publish prices. A majority would also consider using a freelance solicitor if the freelancer offered the same service at a lower price than a law firm.

Consumer awareness and use of leading legal brands is increasing: where brand comparisons are made between 2019 and 2020, 58% of the brands considered have increased both their awareness and use levels. Just three brands have awareness levels above 50% and these are InjuryLawyers4U, National Accident Helpline, and First4Lawyers. The fourth largest brand, in terms of awareness, and the highest law firm brand in the listing is Irwin Mitchell, increasing brand awareness and use in 2020. Close behind are Accident Advice Helpline and Slater & Gordon. Only two other brands have awareness levels over 30% and these are Admiral Law and Cooperative Legal Services.

Accident Advice Helpline, Co-operative Legal,
First4Lawyers, Fletchers, Irwin Mitchell, Minster Law, InjuryLawyers4u, National Accident Helpline
Simpson Millar, Slater & Gordon, Thompsons,
Plus Admiral Law, DAS, Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, Which?Legal

The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2020 is the second annual edition of the report and it offers insights into consumer behaviour, perceptions, brand awareness, and intentions. This report is based on responses from a national sample of 1,060 consumers.

Other headlines from the survey include:

• Client loyalty – Almost three-quarters of those in our survey would be willing to go back to the legal advisor they have used before if another legal matter arose.
• Word of mouth and legal review sites – word of mouth continues to be important with friends, relatives, and work colleagues used for recommendations on legal advisors. The reliance on word of mouth has not yet translated into a significant use of client review sites for law firms and legal advisors. One reason is that these sites are still few and far between but responses from the total consumer sample suggest that there would be more interest in consumer review sites if and when this sector begins to develop further.
• Limited knowledge of consumer rights – limited consumer knowledge over regulation and avenues for redress if something goes wrong is still a concern. Not enough users of law firms knew that their law firm was regulated, not many checked their consumer rights, and less than one in five of those who have used a law firm were aware of the Legal Ombudsman and understood that they could go to them, as a last resort, if they had a complaint.

…………and there is much more analysis/results from the numerous questions asked to individuals. See the Contents Page below for a summary of key themes covered.

The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2020, and the detailed dataset of all survey results with a full demographic, socio-economic, and household analysis is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £1,200 (plus VAT). Discounts for report purchase only, dataset only, or purchases of extracts.

More details. contents page, and ordering options at


IRN Team

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