Dynamic market analysisElasticity of supply
The RIR found very limited information in this area. What research had been undertaken was limited to legal aid:
- A survey of solicitor legal aid firms in 2003 found that “40% were willing to take on more publicly funded work at current remuneration rates. Responses varied by region with over 55% of firms willing to take on more work in the North compared to less than 30% in the South. Firms who held a larger number of contracts were more likely to be willing to take on more legal aided work at current remuneration rates. Close to 60% of firms deriving between 75% and 100% of their fee income from publicly funded work compared to just over 20% of those firms deriving less than 25% of their fee income from publicly funded work1.”
- An analysis of a survey of family barristers in 2009 found that “the relationship between hours of work supplied by barristers and the hourly rates for family legal aid and privately paid work were found to be insignificant. This could be interpreted as inelastic supply of family legal aid by barristers, which means that a change in rates for family legal aid does not affect the share of hours worked in this area. However, in order to ensure the robustness of the overall research conclusions and to be cautious in the findings, the analysis assumed that barristers are as price elastic as solicitors with a price elasticity of 0.34 as opposed to 0.00. This means that a 10% increase in hourly rates for a particular type of work, for instance family legal aid, will result in a 3.4% increase in the supply of hours for this type of work.2“
There is no other published information on other categories of work or other types of authorised persons. It remains unknown how responsive legal service providers are to changes in price, if at all.