Law firms ‘not always on the same page’ as clients, report finds

30 January, 2018

Solicitors are not always on the same page as clients when it comes to measuring success and delivering effective client service, a new study has revealed.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which published the research, found that in 64 per cent of cases, law firms believe the end result is the client’s top priority.

While a third of clients agreed with this sentiment, two thirds (62 per cent) said they were more interested in regular communication, which includes dealing with complaints quickly and effectively.

The full report can be found here, but a few of its most interesting findings are:

  • 56 per cent of complaints are taken to the regulator or the Legal Ombudsman.
  • Just 34 per cent of firms inform the client about the Legal Ombudsman at the end of the complaints procedure, despite the obligation to do so.
  • 43 per cent of clients are satisfied with the outcome of their complaint. This falls to 23 per cent for disabled clients.
  • One in five clients say the law firm they were dealing with took longer than two months to respond to a complaint.
  • Clients, on average, are most satisfied when complaining about a Will issue and least satisfied when complaining about family matters or litigation.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “It makes good business sense to handle complaints well. This report shows some firms are doing positive things to tackle problems, but there is still some way to go. This is not about template responses but understanding your client and responding to their individual needs and expectations.”

Simon Tunnicliffe, Chief Legal Ombudsman, said: “This research highlights the importance of firms providing clients with clear information especially on complaint handling and signposting.”

At Watson Buckle, we have a long history of assisting a wide range of legal clients with tax and business advice and support. If you would like to know more about our services, please contact us.