Read what our Principal, Joanne Major of Major Family Law, the divorce and family law specialists, says in the Luxe Magazine this month:
Newly published research commissioned by the Legal Services Board into the cost of legal services has demonstrated a significant lack of candour on the part of solicitors’ practices when it comes to the amount they charge for various aspects of their services.
The most commonly used legal services consumers use, such as conveyancing, divorce, wills, power of attorney, and estate administration, were cited as services that varied significantly in their pricing.
A massive 76% of legal practices are said by the report to offer no specific information on their price structure, and equally, those firms who do publish their costs and/or offer fixed fee services were generally found to be cheaper than those who do not.
It’s also likely to come as little surprise that legal practices based in the South East charge significantly higher prices compared to those located elsewhere in England and Wales.
The Legal Services Board chief executive, Neil Buckley, observed that the results of the research clearly demonstrated the advantages to consumers of shopping around for the best price before instructing a specific legal advisor. He went further by pointing out that not all legal services require a face-to-face service and in those instances, there can be a definite advantage to instructing a solicitor from a different area or region.
He averred that the legal services market is an evolving one in which there is a huge potential for firms to deliver a better service to consumers at an affordable price.
Meanwhile, a report by Citizens Advice on the experience of litigants in person in the family courts has highlighted the problems people have understanding and trusting lawyers.
It said: “Unclear information about the services lawyers can provide makes it difficult for people to judge the quality of a professional or compare services. Without clear information, unrealistic expectations about what lawyers do causes people to feel frustrated with the service they ultimately receive.
“They spend large sums of money on services they neither understand or trust. Distrust of lawyers is exacerbated by stories in the media about ‘fat-cat’ lawyers who overcharge and underdeliver. It is these frustrations with lawyers’ methods that can cause people to take matters into their own hands.”
At the same time, the report found that many people subsequently realise the value of having a lawyer.
With the research showing frequent variation in the price that consumers pay for the same service, a lack of price transparency, and very few legal practices opting to publish any prices on their website, it seems researching is more important than ever and looking beyond your own locality can be key to obtaining the best value for money.
Fortunately, at Major Family Law, we have always striven to develop a reputation which extends beyond our geographical location. We actively promote our services using popular social media platforms to engage with people outside of our own region and along with openly offering fixed fee services for a number of family issues and flexible payment options, we have recognised the advantages in being able to offer a combination of affordable services delivered in a way clients want at their convenience together with actual face to face support when required.
We both offer remote advice and representation where appropriate by using digital communication methods, including video conferencing services such as Skype and FaceTime, whilst also offering actual physical support by having consultants based in the South East.
Recognised for its innovative approach to the delivery of legal services, Major Family Law continues to strive to offer the very best of family law advice in a way in which clients want it to be delivered at an affordable price.
Image by Alex Nguyen via Flickr (Creative Commons)