The legal profession as a whole had a strong year in 2015. A £30 billion contribution to the UK economy is nothing to be sniffed at, and there are thousands of satisfied customers every month who would be happy to attest to the importance of their legal service providers.
But there is also an argument that law firms have been stuck in a rut for too long. With new entrants to the market and a very real danger of accountancy firms taking process-driven work from under their noses, some have even predicted that small and medium-sized firms are likely to become an endangered species over the coming years.
According to the Legal Services Board, there are a large number of individuals and small businesses not currently utilising legal services. Although it is difficult to put a precise figure on it, this latent market is thought to run into the billions of pounds. Perhaps then, the likes of the LSB and CMA are needed to help providers understand why this is, and what can be done.
We can understand why the hackles of law firms have been raised by the way the CMA ‘investigation’ has been announced. But at the same time, we believe that the process itself is a necessary one – if only for directing the spotlight on to the potential for improvements to be made in a number of areas.
What we would prefer to see in this debate is not a series of finger pointing sessions that criticize the way firms have conducted business up until now. We believe that what legal service providers need now is a roadmap for the future and useful data that can help them shape the way they do business over the next 5-10 years.
Let’s not refer to things that are broken in the industry: we don’t believe this is fair to those firms who are working tirelessly for their clients. What we would prefer to look at are new, innovative solutions that can improve that relationship between legal service providers and clients.
At The Law Superstore, we believe that the legal profession can certainly take a leaf out of the book of the financial services market. Here, digital innovation has seen a number of comparison websites empower consumers and encourage good service, through transparent, real-time rating and review systems.
Later in 2016, we launch our own comparison platform, which we believe will become an invaluable tool for the future of legal service providers. The Law Superstore is a marketing and case generation tool, but it is also the place where legal service providers will be able to trial pricing models, launch new services, manage resources and gain valuable feedback from their client base.
It is for this reason that we see our proposition as a solution – one that will ultimately enable legal professionals to discover their own best practice.
If you would like to find out more about The Law Superstore, you can visit www.thelawsuperstore.co.uk/partners or speak directly to our legal onboarding partner Charlie on 0344 576 1670