Most people now expect free legal advice

18 May, 2015

Law firms are increasingly finding that consumers want initial advice provided free of charge, according to new research.

A survey by YouGov has found that price is now seen as more important to consumers than reputation or even experience.

The poll of more than 2000 adults found that 75 per cent cited price as an important factor when choosing a lawyer. A similar study conducted two years ago found price was only a major issue for six per cent, indicating that there has been a dramatic shift in attitudes among members of the public.

Reputation and experience was a significant factor for 74 per cent of those who responded and more than half (57 per cent) now expect free advice from their lawyers.

The survey also showed that the number of clients receiving free legal consultation was rising, with 64 per cent of respondents reporting that they received free advice in the last three years, up six per cent from the previous survey conducted in 2013.

James McCoy, research director at YouGov Reports, said: “Costs of services and fee charges now play a much bigger role for most adults using legal services.”

“There has also been an increase in the proportion of consumers who now receive legal advice – whether expected or not – suggesting that legal representatives are becoming more open to the idea of providing free consultation.”

This new research indicates that consumers are looking for a more modern approach to legal advice and highly value free initial advice. Many firms may have already chosen to take this route, but many more may be unsure whether the risk of offering free advice will bring with it sufficient benefits.

At Watson Buckle we have years of experience advising law firms on the best way to manage their finances while maximising their practices’ potential. Our team of experts can provide support with setting pricing structures, so as to ensure that firms remain financially stable and competitive.

If you would like to know more about our budgeting and business support services, please contact us.