The Changing Face of the Legal Profession: Introducing the Law Superstore

By Matthew Briggs In About TLS

The legal industry finds itself at a crossroads. In 2015 the Legal Services Board (LSB) released its strategy for the next three years, identifying its intention to encourage "change in pursuit of a modern and effective legal services sector that works better for consumers, citizens and practitioners."

As part of their strategy, the LSB defined how they envisage these changes taking place: 

• Rapid changes will continue to occur and those businesses that can’t adapt will exit the industry
• There will be a host of new entrants to the market, comprised of progressive, forward-thinking businesses
• Consumers will be given a greater choice of providers and service delivery channels. There will be a demand for intermediaries and comparison tools to help them do so.

Nowhere are these points more relevant than in the digital space, where legal service providers have so far had limited success in marketing their services and gaining new business.

Enter The Law Superstore
Last year, we were delighted to announce the launch of The Law Superstore, the new digital business headed up by Chief Executive Officer Matthew Briggs.

As a legal services comparison website, The Law Superstore will offer consumers and SMEs the opportunity to choose from a selection of approved law firms across 12 different categories – from motor offences to employment law, property to business disputes. 

We have not only anticipated the ‘changes’ alluded to by the LSB for some time, but we’ve worked hard to put in place a new model that we see as being crucial in the future of the legal marketplace. We believe that the time is right to bring forward a new approach to marketing legal services, and the LSB’s assertions have only served to confirm that change is afoot.

Change has been dictated by the market. Now it’s the legal sector’s turn to deliver
In recent years we have witnessed a dramatic shift in consumer buying habits as the purchasing of products and services online has become commonplace. Indeed, according to The Office for National Statistics 97% of UK adults used the Internet in 2014 with 76% of all adults also buying goods or services online. 

In the legal sector, however, online lead generation remains a challenge for all but the very largest firms – those with incredible resources and the financial wherewithal to corner the search engine market, both organically and through paid advertising.

The simple fact is that we as a society are now digital animals. We expect to have everything we need at our fingertips – be it at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. And we have also become accustomed to being able to compare and contrast anything from homes to holidays, credit cards to energy providers.

Should there be any doubt as to the public’s appetite for a legal comparison website, we recently commissioned our own market research at The Law Superstore. Of the 3000 respondents in our survey, an overwhelming 79% confirmed that they would consider using a legal comparison website. 

Perhaps even more telling than this is that a huge 85% of those in the 25-39 age bracket would consider using a legal comparison website.

To us, this raises an interesting point: a growing proportion of the nation’s adult population has grown up in a world where digital technologies have been a permanent fixture. And if the legal industry is to appeal to the subsequent generations of computer literate clients, it must be able to present itself more coherently and transparently online.

The market demands it; how do we deliver it?
At The Law Superstore, our purpose is quite simply to make it easier for people to find and buy legal services. As a comparison tool, we are committed to both meeting the needs of the end customer and supporting the legal industry during this period of evolution.

The online platform will enable individuals and businesses to compare legal service providers quickly and easily across a wide range of criteria before choosing their preferred provider.

For customers, the focus is on enabling them to make better-informed choices when searching for legal advice. Individuals and businesses will be able to quickly and easily compare legal providers on criteria including quality rating, services, location, expertise, accreditation and price.

For legal providers, the website represents an affordable source of warm, pre-qualified leads to match their target disciplines and work capacity. In this way, the platform helps firms of all sizes compete on a level playing field with the largest in the UK. 

Over the coming months, I am looking forward to sharing more details of our development as we near launch in April. An exciting period of change lies ahead for the legal industry and at The Law Superstore, we are excited to be part of that evolution. 

We are currently inviting legal service providers to join The Law Superstore’s Partner network, including solicitors, barristers, conveyancers, and regulated patent and trademark attorneys.

*This article was first posted on LinkedIn

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