We are often asked at Silks Solicitors why clients should come and seek legal advice from us, when they can get advice for cheaper from unregulated bodies such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau or McKenzie friends, or use online companies to draft a will or get divorced. The answer is simple; they are unregulated and therefore do not have to answer to the SRA (the regulation authority that holds Solicitors accountable). When you have a legal issue, this is likely to be a stressful and daunting time for you, and therefore why place your trust in an unregulated legal service provider? As a regulated firm, perhaps you may expect us to hold that view, but don’t just take our word for it, let the statistics below speak for themselves.
The biggest ever survey of legal needs in England and Wales has delivered a ringing endorsement of the quality of service provided by solicitors. The Legal Services Board, which co-commissioned the research with the Law Society, has indicated that it will seize on fresh evidence of an ‘access to justice gap’ to pursue its deregulatory agenda.
Based on data collected by YouGov in February and March 2019, the survey collates the perceptions and experiences of 28,633 people. One headline finding is that solicitors score highest for service satisfaction. Nine out of 10 people who had used a solicitor were satisfied with the service they received, while 84% thought the solicitor provided value for money. Respondents who received professional help were also more likely to feel they had a fair outcome (66%, compared to 53% who did not).
Unregulated providers received the worst ratings, with one in five people dissatisfied with the service they received from sources including will-writers and McKenzie Friends.
Overall, two in three people had experienced a legal issue in the previous four-year period surveyed, with most issues (53%) contentious in nature. Most common were issues relating to a professional or defective good/service (26%), anti-social behaviour by neighbours (14%), buying or selling property (11%), wills (11%) and employment (11%).
Older people were more likely to consult a solicitor. Four out of 10 aged 65 or over reported that a solicitor was their main adviser, declining sharply to 26% in the 30-49 bracket and just 18% of those aged 18-29. Younger people are more likely to seek informal help.
All in all the survey seems to us to confirm that timely advice from the best qualified advisers (solicitors) is most likely to lead to an acceptable outcome.
To talk to one of our qualified, experienced and regulated advisors, please call us on 0121 511 2233.