Organisation Description Year
YouGov

Consumer experiences of complaint handling in the legal services market – Premature complainants

An online survey of 1,010 premature complainants was undertaken. The sample came from contact details held by the Legal Ombudsman of all who had made a premature complaint since October 2010 and for whom an email address was collected.

2012
YouGov

Consumer experiences of complaint handling in the legal services market – first-tier complainants

This report was commissioned in order to investigate the attitudes and experiences of first-tier complainants within the legal services domain, and to understand what typifies both good and bad complaints processes.

2012
LAG

Salaried services

Canadian studies show that there are no significant quality differences between private practice and salaried services. (pg2)

2001
Citizens Advice

Geography of advice: An overview of the challenges facing the Community Legal Service

covers survey that found that NfP advisors were more expensive than solicitors but generally provided a higher quality service (page 14).

2010
Cornell Law School and Yale Law School

Do Lawyers Really Believe Their Own Hype and Should They?

Discussion of overconfidence in ability leading to too much litigation

2010
ADP Consultancy

Working together for Advice Draft Quality Mark

Measuring the quality of legal services – techniques.

2010
Cardiff University

Litigants in person Unrepresented litigants in first instance proceedings Professor Richard Moorhead and Mark Sefton Cardiff University

Our qualitative data suggested that unrepresented litigants achieved poorer outcomes on their cases, and that this was essentially for two reasons. Firstly, lack of representation frequently meant they were unable to present their cases in the best light (if they were able to present them at all). Secondly, a proportion of them brought cases that were inherently weak, either because they had not had the benefit of lawyers discouraging them from bringing cases in the first place, or because they were motivated to bring poor cases because of other grievances against their opponents or a broader disregard for the relevance of law to their disputes – Page 221

Summary discussion of LIPs – Pages 245 -265

2005
Cardiff University

An anatomy of access – evaluating entry, initial advice and signposting using model clients

Peer review of advice given by specialists who weren’t focused on mystery shop issue. Advice they gave was generally poor quality (page 36). More data on page 37. And again on page 45 in relation to education advice. Debt advice analysed for failings (page 50). Overall summary of mystery shop experience on pages 59 – 61

2002
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer views and their experiences on using solicitor services and their awareness of the Solicitors Regulation AuthorityBaseline research report for the Solicitors Regulation AuthorityMay 2008

65% of consumers were satisfied with their service, 19% said they were dissatisfied

2008
Ministry of Justice

Summary: training and regulating providers of publicly funded legal advice – a case study of civil provision

Report suggests that advice given by specialists is more high quality than generalists (page 15).

2009
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer research study: experiences of black and minority ethnic people using solicitors in England and Wales

82% of BME users are satisfied with their service

2009
University of Stanford - Rebecca L. Sandefur Assistant Professor

Lawyer, Non-Lawyer and Pro Se Representation and Trial Hearing Outcomes

Review of research into the effectiveness of having a lawyer represent you found that -
Lawyers promote accuracy because they understand the proper procedure

2006
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer research study: a survey of public attitudes towards solicitors

83% satisfied with the service they received

2008
HMCPSI (Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate)

Report of the thematic review of the quality of prosecution advocacy and case presentation

Review undertook assessments of the quality of advocacy by type of advocate – results reported – Page 5

Range of quality of advocacy in Crown Court ratings table:
In non-contested hearings, for example sentencing or PCMHs, a greater majority of crown advocates were fully competent in comparison to counsel and for the most part they are delivering a sound quality of service. In contrast counsel performed better in trial hearings and across all individual aspects of trial advocacy apart from the closing speech. – Page 25
Further analysis of quality of advocacy in non contested hearings and trial advocacy – pages 26-28

Range of quality of advocacy in Magistrates Court ratings table – page 37
Quality of non-trial advocacy and quality of trial advocacy – pages 42 – 45

2009
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumers and conveyancing: attitudes towards using solicitors for conveyancing services

93% of consumers of conveyancing services were satisfied

2009
Acritas

2010 Global Elite Analysis

Some information on satisfaction with quality

2010
Cardiff University

Lawyer Specialisation – Managing the Professional Paradox

Analysis of quality of delivery in legal aid

2008
Cardiff Law School

Self regulation and the market for legal services

Study indicated that 30% of solicitors in a quality pilot study were of inadequate quality (page 6).

2004
Department for Constitutional Affairs

A trouble shared – legal problems clusters in solicitors

Survey does not just include lawyers: but, within study, specialists were more likely to offer comprehensive advice (page 42) than generalist equivalents.

2006
Lord Chancellor's department

The effectiveness of representations at tribunals Hazel Genn & Yvette Genn

Study got feedback from tribunal heads about the quality of representation they witness – some of it not very complementary about the people who appeared before them (page 173). Other feedback extends over the following few pages.

1989
European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

European judicial systemsEdition 2006 (data 2004):Efficiency and quality of justice

Table of existence of quality standards across Europe – Page 132

2006
Ministry of Justice

Summary: training and regulating providers of publicly funded legal advice – a case study of civil provision

Survey respondents lined the Specialist Quality Mark for advisors (page iv). Scepticism over value of CPD (page 16). Also sceptics over value of LPC (page 18). Summarises key regulators and quality standards across a range of legal advisors (page 22 – 23). Discusses “contract-based” quality standards – i.e. SQMs (page 24). And again (page 28).

2009
The Law Society

Accreditation Schemes – background information

Summary of voluntary accreditation schemes in order to promote high standards in legal provision. 16% of solicitors belong to at least one accreditation scheme, and 18,000 legal professionals are members of these schemes.

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Criminal defence services: users’ perspective

Why defendants ranked their lawyer as “good” (or not) – page 49.

2008
Community Legal Service Support

The specialist quality mark – getting the most out of it

Summary of specialist quality mark – what it consists of (page 2 onwards) and what it is supposed to achieve (page 7). Very much an internal, process-driven document.

2004
Legal Services Institute

The regulation of legal services: what is the case for reservation?

Summary of main professional codes (page 14) by main legal service providers.

2011
BMG Research / Skills for Justice

Skills in the justice sector: a survey of third sector employers 2009

Voluntary organisations do train staff (but no suggestion of any kind of accreditation at this point in the report) – page 6. Further details on training given to survey participant organisations (page 66 – 66). Also use of other standards i.e. investors in people (page 73).

2009
Ministry of Justice

The extent and value of pro bono work provided by legal executives

Summary of ILEX members route to qualification (page 1).

2008
Legal Ethics

Legal ethics, moral agency and professional autonomy: the unbearable ethics of being (a Legal Executive)? – Andrew Francis

Very briefly summarises training regime for legal execs (page 133).

2007
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Quality in the legal services industry – a scoping study

Summarises various quality standards (page 4). Report wants quality assurance marks subject to revaluation (page 7). Entry barriers only guarantee that a lawyer will be an “inexperienced generalist) – page 15. Summary of individual quality marks available (page 20 – 21). Barristers seem less keen on quality marks (page 22). Repeats request that quality marks are granted on a time-limited basis (page 26). Further quality marks summarised (i.e. Bar Mark) – page 27. Summary of numbers of complaints against lawyers (page 30). Also discusses the existence of legal directories etc (page 33) as quality benchmarks. Report repeats claim that quality marks would need to be heavily promoted before they begin to work as effective signals of quality (page 40).

2005
Age Concern

General Help Providers – the end of the line? The Age Concern Perspective

The Quality Mark
- Generally considered to have been beneficial by ACs and key in securing funding and
demonstrating the quality/legitimacy/ professionalism of AC I&A services.
- Lack of auditing has lead to ambivalence towards QM and quality measures from ACs.

2008
Solicitors Regulation Authority

SRA Summary of Performance Measures and Statistics

Summarises the number of investigations into law practices by the SRA (page 3), the number of regulatory compliance visits to firms (and grades achieved) (page 11), and firm closure rates (page 12). Also summarises allegations against firms by compliance risk (page 14), number of forensic investigations (page 15) and disciplinary outcomes (page 17 – 18). Summarises interventions (page 19)

2009
Community Legal Service Support

The CLS Quality Mark – getting the most out of general help – Patrick Torsney

The Quality mark – which has three components – fundamental (i.e. contractual), quality assurance and quality control (page 2 – 3). The remainder of the report is a step by step guide to some of the various processes that would need to be put in place to achieve the standards. i.e. file review (page 16 onwards) client feedback (page 18 onwards) and system reviews (page 20 onwards)

2005
Legal Services Policy Institute

The accreditation of learning programmes leading to professional legal qualifications

Summarises routes to qualification among various professions (page 2). Wants consistent quality assurance standards across all providers (page 7).

2009
The Law Society

Lexcel Practice Management Standard

The objective of Lexcel is to enhance the service given by a practice to its clients, to improve the management of the practice and the morale and motivation of its staff. Lexcel encourages practices to consult with clients to ensure that the views of the users of legal services have an impact on the way the service is delivered. There is an emphasis within the standard on continuous improvement. Page 2

Detailed requirements for meeting the Lexcel standard – Pages 3-11

2008
Ministry of Justice

Access to justice: a review of the existing evidence of the experiences of adults with mental health problems

Targeted civil legal advice services for adults with mental health problems prevent  homelessness and reduce debt

2009
Ministry of Justice

Twelve months later: does advice help? The impact of debt advice – advice agency clients study – Kim Williams and Anna Sansom

Specialist Quality Mark for Debt advice, immigration advice (page 14). Client feedback (page 66).

2007
Acritas

2010 Global Elite Analysis

Some information on quality judgements

2010
Skills for Justice

Professional and financial service cluster report

Skills of lawyers compared with other sectors (page 11).

2010
Bar Council

Entry to the bar working party – final report

Entry requirements for barristers briefly summarised (page 14). Report discusses whether minimum academic standards for entry should be introduced (page 55 – 58).

2007
Legal Advice Sector Partnership Steering Group

Advice forward: developing skills for the future

Education standards for various different types of advisor compared (page 14).Actual qualifications obtained by advisors, across various different types of advisor entity (page 22 onwards). Training offered (page 24).

2006
Solicitors Journal

New foundations: coordinated solutions towards a new model

Wants Lexcel quality mark to replace the LSC’s quality mark (page 68).

2010
Legal Services Policy Institute

Civil Legal Aid: Squaring the (vicious) circle

Discussion of difference between lawyer understood quality and consumer understood quality

2010
Advice Services Alliance

Peer Review in Legal and Advice Services

Discusses various different quality assurance mechanisms (page 1) in place, and criticism of it. Then discusses peer review, and who uses it in law (page 1). Further discussions on who uses it (page 4 -7). Outlines the cost of carrying out a review (page 28 onwards). Appendix has a range of peer review systems in great detail, from a variety of providers.

2003
Legal Services Board

Understanding the economic rationale for legal services regulation

Discusses QCs and other quality certification assurances (page 40).

2010
European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

European Judicial Systems 2002

Disciplinary proceedings ratios compared and sanctions against lawyers (page 74).

2002
The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys

Trade marks: a career in trade marks

Summarises qualifications required of TMAs (page 4).

2010
Lord Chancellor's department

The effectiveness of representations at tribunals Hazel Genn & Yvette Genn

Success rates for various types of advisor in social services appeals summarised (page 71). Welfare rights centre more successful than solicitors or CABs. This whole report is very stats heavy – and broken down by many variables. consult contents page for specific stats.

1989
Legal Services Research Centre

Legal advice sector workforce: Analysis of survey findings – Marisol Smith and Tania Tam

Report summarises survey respondents’ qualifications – page 53. Then qualifications by type of organisation worked for (page 54 onwards). Training provision from page 63 onwards. Membership of professional body (page 65 onwards).

2006
Ministry of Justice

HM Courts Service Probate Service Survey 2009

Report refers to client satisfaction survey – is this a quality of advice measurement?

2009
Solicitors Regulation Authority

SRA Equality & Diversity annual monitoring report of regulatory activity

Report highlights ratios of conduct investigations against solicitors, by various demographics (pages 9 and 10). Is this a form of quality measure? Outcomes of investigation on page 11 onwards.

2008
Ministry of Justice

Legal Services Bill – Full Regulatory Impact Assessment

Number of complaints (page 10).

2007
University of Huddersfield

Training and regulating those providing publically funded legal advice services – a case study in civil provision

Quality standards summarised (page iii). Survey respondents seemed to think they worked (page iv) in terms of improving quality. Trainee supervision liked – CPD not so (page v). Post entry quality tends to be managed by complaints (page 23) and discipline. Suggests that expert non-lawyers can be better than lawyers (page 30). Large number of quality standards (including BSI) discussed page 43 onwards. Summarises specialist accreditation (page 110 onwards). Table summarises training requirements for various NFP providers (page 114 – 117) – then problems with training discussed. NFP supervision (page 139 onwards).

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Targeting and access to justice: an introduction to legal aid reform in England & Wales – Pascoe Pleasance

Quality standards required to win legal aid work (page 2)

2001
Legal Services Commission

Community legal advice centres and networks: a process evaluation

Quality in relation to CLAS was assessed by way of peer review, audit and contract review (page 188),

2010
A4e/Howells

Solutions to legal provisions emerging from outside of legal service

Customer satisfaction ratings (94% in this case) – page 4

2010
Community Legal Service Support

Employing a solicitor for the first time

covers quality marks required to operate a legal aid contract (page 10).

2003
Office of Fair Trading

Competition in professions

covers old report on QCs as a measure of quality (page 15). QC numbers page 69/94. More on QCs page 78/103 onwards.

2001
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

CDS Direct: Flying in the face of the evidence

covers national scheme for the accreditation and training of non-solicitor police station advisors (page 14).

2008
Department for Constitutional Affairs

The independent review of the Community Legal Service

covers the introduction of the Quality Mark (page 5). But also suggests quality assurance standards may be overly complex and costly (page 7). Advocates slimming down quality procedures (page 8). More on how the Quality Mark arose out of previous systems (page 14). Further discussion on the value of the Quality Mark (page 34 – 36).

2004
The Law Society

More civil justice? The impact of the Woolf reforms on pre-action behaviour

LSC funding for clinical negligence claims only available to firms with specialist level quality mark (page 6) – 253 firms had them in 2001 (page 7)

2002
Legal Services Commission

Research on Ethnic Diversity amongst suppliers of Legal Aid services

For legal aid work, there is peer review assessment of quality (page 34). Report highlights that BME firms come off badly from peer review process (page 52).

2006
Cardiff University

Legal Services Commission “Quality Assurance for Advocates”

Post Carter, there were few quality assurance mechanisms for advocacy other than complaints and entry regimes (page 7). This document focuses on a pilot of quality assessment for criminal advocates. Various assessment options considered (page 10) and assessed (pages 11 – 16). Detailed breakdown of actual assessments on page 19 -22). Failure percentage rates (page 37) – later on, failure rates at different levels of assessment are also documented. Judicial evaluation (page 52). Failure rates by type of provider (page 58). Towards end of the report, recommendations for assessment are discussed. Estimates of costs of accreditation from page 79 onwards

2009
Bar Council

The Public Access Scheme – Guidance for Lay Clients

Example of what additional conditions are needed for barristers to undertake direct access work – page 6

2010
Legal Services Commission

Quality assurance for advocates: Summary report of the QAA Equality and Diversity data survey and focus groups

Pilot study to development quality assurance scheme for publically funded criminal advocates (page 1). Survey respondents wary of the cost of obtaining QAA scheme for advocates. (page 27).

2009
Bar Standards Board

Review of Pupillage – Report of the Working Group

Page 17 – sets out that training standards pupil barristers need to meet before they can complete their pupillage. Report admits these rules are “vague” (page 24). Wants them clarified (page 25). Discusses tightening up of training requirements (page 48) – the Hendy Report. Further comments on what pupils need to do to be given a certificate of qualification (page 99). Suggests a very low failure rate.

2010
Department of Constitutiional Affairs

The benefits of multiple ownership models in law services – James Dow and Carlos Lapuerta

Organisations such as the RAC maintain a list of preffered firm partnerships (page 11) – which is a form of quality signalling.

2005
The Law Society

Review of the regulation of corporate legal work

Complaints data summarised by size of firm (page 71) and type of matter complained about (page 72).

2009
Office of Fair Trading

Competition in professions -progress statement

OFT questions whether the QC system is a genuine quality mark (page 18 – 19). it should be capable of being lost as well as won (page 19).

2002
AdviceUK

It’s the system, stupid! Radically rethinking advice

CLS Quality Mark mentioned (page 24).

2008
Skills for Justice / NOS4 Advice / European Union

National Occupational Standards for Legal Advice

National Occupational Standards for Legal Advice – what they contain – page 2 onwards. Specific standards for Welfare law, asylum, criminal law advice (page 10). More general skills standards (page 13 onwards).

2006
Department for Constitutional Affairs

A trouble shared – legal problems clusters in solicitors

Mentioned LSC’s Specialist Quality mark (page 7) and also self-proclaimed specialisation. But doesn’t comment on their value.

2006
Legal Services Research Centre

Sixth annual diversity report

Mention of LSC’s quality mark (page 13) – and further expanation of its various levels of accreditation (page 24).

2007
Refugee Council

Lives in the Balance: The quality of immigration legal advice given to separated children seeking asylum

Providers who provide a good service to separated children are more welcoming and supportive of the involvement of independent adults, take an interest in the work of the Panel, see Advisers as partners.

2011
Legal Services Research Centre

Routine Diversity Monitoring of the Supplier Base

LSC Quality Mark levels for a sample of NfP organisations – by ethnicity of managerial control page 11

2009
Working Together for Advice Project

First General Consultation on the Draft Standards and Potential Assessment Methods

Proposal to develop quality standard mark for advice agencies – encompassing both organisational standards and also quality of advice standards (page 1). Most of this paper is devoted to feedback on this proposed standard – or methods of measuring quality (i.e. mystery shops – page 15).

2009
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Advice Agencies, Advisors and their Clients: Perceptions of quality

Accreditation standards – for management – if not legal advice – include BS5750, ISO 9000, Investors in People, Law Society Practice Management Standards, LSC standards (page 3). Also Legal Aid Franchise Quality Assurance Standards, Specialist Quality Mark (page 4). And General Quality Mark (page 5). And Information Quality Mark (page 5). For the Bar, standards include BARMARK (page 9). Among survey respondents, overwhelming majority had not noticed quality marks (page 34). Further discussion on range of different quality marks available (page 46 – 50), and what impact the providers thought they had on clients (page 50 – 52). Advisors asked what their definition of quality should be (page 55). Almost as much on organisational competence as technical skill. Also discusses peer review (page 79).

2005
The Law Society

Lexcel Awarded Practices

List of Lexcel holders by region

2010
Advice Services Alliance

Lord Carter of Cole’s review of legal aid procurement

“We support LSC developments in relation to peer review, where independent and experienced practitioners are asked to assess the quality of legal work. We consider that all methods of service delivery should be subject to peer review, including the expanded telephone advice services.” (page 8).

2005
Legal Services Commission

Directory of Quality Marked Chambers(Last updated 28/01/2010)

List of Chambers holding LSC Quality Mark

2010
Legal Services Consumer Panel

Quality in Legal Services

“consumers do not use or want quality marks in legal services, despite the proliferation of logos making claims of quality. Nevertheless, some quality marks benefit consumers indirectly, as they are used by bulk purchasers and intermediaries who filter the market on their behalf.” (page 1). Summarises how quality is currently assured in the legal services market (page 20), and take up among a selected group of practice areas (page 21).

2010
Bar Council

List of Chambers holding Barmark

List of Chambers holding Barmark

2010
Legal Services Policy Institute

Training for the future: the professional preparation of lawyers for the commercial and regulatory environment after the Legal Services Act 2007

the work experience component of lawyers’ training in E&W is far longer than in New South Wales (page 9). Firms self-certify their lawyers CPD compliance (page 12).

2009
The Law Society

Risk Management GuideApril 2009

Lexcel is recognised by insurers as an effective risk management tool – Page 1

2009
Skills for Justice

Supporting the implementation of NOS in the Legal Advice Sector and associated toolkit

Legal Advice Services National Occupational Standards Toolkit (page 1). AdviceUK has a training scheme for advisors (page 16)

2007
Cardiff Law School

Self regulation and the market for legal services

Both LSC and Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner now use peer review to assess quality (page 7).

2004
The Law Society

An investigation into the membership of the Children Panel

Lawyers have to be on the Children’s Panel to represent children (page 1). More on the process of accreditation (page17 – 18). More panel membership accreditation (page 23). Debate about the actual quality of CP members (page 34). Application to join panel takes no account of previously experience (page 42). Suggests alternatives (page 47). Reaccreditation after 5 years (page 71). Training requirements (page 79. More comments on the accreditation process (page 83).

2005
Journal of legal education

Legal Education and Training in England and Wales: Back to the Future?

Discusses training routes to qualification of solicitors in England and Wales (page 80 onwards). (solicitors only became a graduate profession after 1971 report) page 87. Extensive discussions of proposed reforms to legal training regime (pages 100 onwards). Also covers specialisation (page 110).

2008
The Bar Council and The Criminal Bar Association

BEST VALUE TENDERING FOR CDS CONTRACTS 2010 – THE LEGAL SERVICES COMMISSION CONSULTATION PAPER

In tendering process, the use of peer review evaluation is mentioned (page 6). Thinks the quality threshold is too low (page 7).

2009
Audit Commission

Sheffield City Council – legal servicesBest value inspection service

Audit commission evaluated the legal services provision at Sheffield City Council (page 6). Client feedback (page 14). Report branded quality of service as “fair” (page 19) and then suggested how it should improve. covers lack of performance indicators (page 22).

2001
Solicitors Journal

The future is bright

In relation to legal aid, publication of outcomes might be a proxy standard of quality – i.e. 5% success rate for immigration cases versus 40-70% success rate on average (page 25).

2010
Cardiff University

An anatomy of access – evaluating entry, initial advice and signposting using model clients

Assessed whether specialist quality mark holders would sign-post model clients to other professionals for issues that were outside their competence (page 2). A mixed bag of results. Brief summary of various quality marks (page 6). Is “helpfulness?” a quality of advice measure? If so, stats comparing NFP and sols experience is show on page 24. Survey on whether clients felt they had been given clear advice (page 25).

2002
Legal Services Research Centre

Findings from the Legal Advice Sector Workforce Surveys

In publically funded legal advice, table shows levels of qualifications of advisors by type of entity their work for (page 23-24). Most lawyers have degrees, much less prevalent in other advice sectors. Training levels also show (page 25 – 26), as are membership of accreditation scheme (page 29).

2007
ADP Consultancy

Working together for Advice Draft Quality Mark

Analysis of effectiveness of quality marks.

2010
Europe Economics

Report for Bar Council – A critique of the evidence used by the LSC for its BVT proposals

In legal aid work, peer review is used. Providers will not be used if they score below a certain peer review threshold (page 2).

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Improving access to justice through Alternative Dispute Resolution: The role of Community Legal Centres in Victoria, Australia

Australian process to voluntarily accredit ADR providers (page 13).

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Money Advice Outreach Evaluation: Qualitative Outcomes for Clients

Report summarises what survey clients wanted from their advisor – and expert knowledge doesn’t seen to stand out particularly (page 10). Timeliness, venue, delays also mattered.

2008
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Commissioned research into issues of disproportionality

Want from advice: confidential (76%), independent (74%), easy to access (73%), local knowledge (71%), trusted source (70%), high quality (64%), more than one problem (51%)

2010
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer attitudes towards the purchase of legal services

Summaries results of 40 intervies by GFK, report states that:
Consumers tend to go with a provider reccomeded by a firm, do limited research about different providers, are loyal to previous providers. – page 5
Consumers look for an established provider based on a recommendation from someone they trust, evidence that the provider is experienced in legal practice, and evidence that a provider specialises in there required areas. Confirms service standards and price assessed after purchase.
Consumers see solictor as a indication of quality, and gives them confidence they are purchasing services from a reliable provider. Assume all professionals and staff are qualified to do thier job. – Page 6
Consumers expect all legal services to be regulated, and expected levels of protection similar to existing regulation. Page 7
Consmers unclear as to what represnts good value for money – Page 8

2011
Byfield Consultancy

Big Bang Report: Opportunities and threats in the new legal services market Jon Robbins

Review of whether clients want non lawyers in to management positions suggest that this will only matter to corporate clients – page 8 & 9

2010
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Quality in the legal services industry – a scoping study

Research suggests quality marks only influence clients buying decisions for legal services in 1% of transactions (page 4). As a purchaser of legal services, the LSC does take quality marks seriously because it uses them (page 21). The CPS and Treasury solicitors also maintain lists of approved providers (page 23). Further details of (low) levels of awareness of various quality marks among consumers (page 24).

2005
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Interim research findings: consumer attitudes to the purchase of legal services GfK

Reports findings of 40 in-depth interviews. Looked at impacts of professional title.
Solicitors were consistently ranked highly, as being most qualified and trustworthy.
“It was thought that solicitors would be most highly qualified of the professionals, but many thought that legal advisers, licensed conveyancers, and professional willwriters
would also have some kind of legal qualification, although they were thought likely to offer better value for money. It was thought possible, therefore, that these
professionals might offer similar skills, but for less money”. Slide 12

2010
Unbiased.co.uk

Legal Advice Report

33% of people chose a solicitor because they specialised in the type of advice they were looking for. 29% chose a solicitor based on the recommendation of someone they trusted and 24% went with a solicitor with a strong reputation that they were familiar with. 23% chose a solicitor that was based near their work or home address.

2009
Legal Services Board

Understanding the economic rationale for legal services regulation

Report suggests “reputation” may be a non-regulatory method of addressing quality – i.e. quality must be maintained to justify reputation (page 30). But queries how reputation can be created (page 32-33).

2010
Legal Services Consumer Panel

Quality in Legal Services

“The Panel

2010
Vanilla Research

Referral Arrangements Research

Report implies that standardised high quality is assumed from any provider (page 11).

2010
Cardiff Law School

Self regulation and the market for legal services

Report covers evidence that non-lawyers can offer the same levels of expertise as lawyers – specialism matters, not professionalism (page 5).

2004
Legal Services Research Centre

Transforming legal aid: Access to criminal defence services Dr Vicky Kemp

Looking at how clients choose a solicitor in a police station:
While some respondents mentioned just one factor that was important when choosing a solicitor, others commented on two, three or more factors. Their responses were broken down into five main categories:

2010
Legal Services Commission

Making Quality Connections Work

Examples of some of the quality marks available and how they interlink – including Specialist Quality Mark (SQM), Lexcel Practice Management Standards, Investors in People ISO 9001:2000, EFQM Excellence Model, and the Charter Mark. No information on consumer perceptions.

2003
Office of Fair Trading

Evaluation of OFT Competition Advocacy Prepared for the Office of Fair Trading by London Economics April 2010

Discussion of how CCAS and membership of the IPW signifies the quality of services on offer – Pages 42-46

For the consumer code to be valuable as a signalling tool, consumers must recognise membership of the consumer code as a signal of quality. They also must be aware of the codes existence, and be able recognise the OFT Consumer Codes Approval Scheme logo and interpret it as representing quality. To the extent that this is the case, businesses who are members of the code may derive
a competitive advantage from membership.

2010
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Advice Agencies, Advisors and their Clients: Perceptions of quality

Discusses what were clients perceptions of quality within sample group (page 28),

2005
Changing Ageing Partnership

Digital divide, older people and online legal advice

costs,

2009
Solicitors Regulation Authority

A survey of public attitudes towards conveyancing services, conducted on behalf of: Solicitors Regulation Authority

According to the survey recommendations are more important in selecting a lawyer than their specialist knowledge (page 17).

2009
The Law Society

The benefits of Lexcel Accreditation

34.5% of Lexcel holders states that it had been useful in gaining new work. Other self reported benefits of holding Lexcel included improved client care (81.2%), risk management (78.8%), consistency of service (71.5%), lower insurance premiums (69.1%), improved staff morale (48.5%), compliance (47.9%, competitive advantage (39.4%), & increasing profitability (25.5%).

2010
Unbiased.co.uk

Legal Advice Report

When seeking legal advice 24% saw a solicitor that was recommended to them by a family member or friend. 10% used their parent

2009
IRN

New Report On UK Legal Services Market Predicts Only Limited Growth For The Next Two Years April 2010

Results from a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults in 2010 show that word of mouth recommendations are still the most important way to find a solicitor. However, some traditional channels for information on legal advice

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Piecing it Together:Exploring One-Stop Shop Legal Service Delivery in Community Legal Advice Centres

Research found that clients who had not used the service before often described hearing about the CLAC through word of mouth – Page 40

Interviewees reported that they had gone to the CLAC for logistical reasons

2010
American Bar Association

eLawyering for a Competitive Advantage

Reports that consumers will avoid using a lawyer unless they really have to for the following, major reasons:

2008
Council for Licensed Conveyancers

E-Standards

Reports on interviews with 1000 adults by IRN in 2007:
Slide 7 – Most important factor when choosing a solicitor or conveyancer: 55% quality of service and VfM, 34% Price, 11% Recommendation by friend of family.
Slides 11-12 – Breakdown of current and likely future aspects that consumer finds most important in choosing conveyancing services.

2008
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Interim research findings: consumer attitudes to the purchase of legal services GfK

Reports findings of 40 in-depth interviews. Suggests that those who purchase legal services are not necessarily

2010
Minstry of Justice Hong Kong

Demand Study Report (part 1) – Survey of Small & Medium Enterprises

Survey found that SMEs in Hong Kong had little knowledge on how to deal with justiciable problems, the cost involved, and how to find suitable lawyers – page 33

2007
http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis

Sixth annual diversity report

Report analysies potential correlation between management of legal service provider and its client base (page 52).

2007
Legal Services Research Centre

Community legal advice centre: a survey of clients in reception

Survey asked why CLAS users used them – table shows findings (pages 37 to 39).

2010
Lord Chancellor's department

The effectiveness of representations at tribunals Hazel Genn & Yvette Genn

Only 12% of applicants at social security appeals hearings are represented by individuals with experience of reputation or expertise (page 25). Stats about who goes to what advisors in immigration cases (page 32). And in mental heath tribunal reviews (page 58).

1989
Legal Services Research Centre

Criminal defence services: users’ perspective

Survey asked what people wanted from a solicitor (page 3-4). The more times people are convicted, the more likely they are to have their own solicitor (page 27). Other factors in selecting solicitors are discussed on pages 35 – 39. Use of duty solicitor discussed on page 43.

2008
Jures

Shopping Around – What consumers want from the new legal services market

Appendix 1 – Q1 – factors that influence customer choice include quality of service, fixed prices, ease of location, speed of service, well known brand, cheapest price – page 16
Appendix 2 – Q4 – how look for a lawyer – page 17

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Assessing the impact of advice for people with debt problems

Summary of how people came to use the advice service they did (page 41 – 42) Influences on choice of advice page 47

2008
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer research study: a survey of public attitudes towards solicitors

Majority go back to the same solicitor previously used

2008
Legal Services Board

LSB Initial consumer research – Summary

70% got their legal advice from a solicitor (though 10% did not know what type of lawyer it was so this is likely to be closer to 80% in practice). 83% of those who have used a lawyer did not shop around.
Why do people not shop around for legal advice? One reason may be that only two-thirds of the population paid for their legal advice, This would suggest that price was the main driver of shopping around; in practice experience (58% mentioned in the top 3 characteristics), reputation (51%) and location (41%) were seen as the most important things that people looked for in a lawyer, followed by availability and then finally price.
26% found their lawyer from a personal recommendation, 20% from previous experience and 15% from a referral arrangement, possibly best explaining why people do not shop around, as those that did shop around most shopped around on cost alone.

2009
Legallybetter.com

Choosing Legal Representation in the UK: How the Internet is Transforming User Behaviour and Legal Services Marketing Legally better White Paper May 2009

Summarises recent research into level of consumer use of internet to fund a solicitor, broken down by gender. – Pages 2 & 3

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Transforming legal aid: Access to criminal defence services Dr Vicky Kemp

Looking at clients decision not to choose legal advice at a police interview -
The main reason cited by respondents in the present study for their decisions not to seek legal advice was their own perception that they did not need a solicitor. It is useful, therefore, to consider the extent to which people understand their legal rights and are able to make informed decisions about requesting legal advice. The second reason that respondents gave for rejecting offers of legal advice was that they were concerned about delays. The main explanation as to why people did not use a solicitor in the police station, as suggested by the solicitors interviewed in this study, was that there are long delays in the police investigative process. Associated with long delays, some solicitors also suspected that it was a police tactic to discourage suspects from taking legal advice by blaming any delays on their solicitor. Page 34

Looking at how clients choose a solicitor in a police station:
While some respondents mentioned just one factor that was important when choosing a solicitor, others commented on two, three or more factors. Their responses were broken down into five main categories:

2010
Solicitors Regulation Authority

A survey of public attitudes towards solicitors conducted on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority

31% of BME people say having a solicitor who can speak language other than English is important (page 5). 52% of BME people also said they wanted their solicitor to be able to understand cultural sensitivities.

2009
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer attitudes towards the purchase of legal services

Summaries results of 40 intervies by GFK, report states that:
Consumers tend to go with a provider reccomeded by a firm, do limited research about different providers, are loyal to previous providers. – page 5
Consumers look for an established provider based on a recommendation from someone they trust, evidence that the provider is experienced in legal practice, and evidence that a provider specialises in there required areas. Confirms service standards and price assessed after purchase.
Consumers see solictor as a indication of quality, and gives them confidence they are purchasing services from a reliable provider. Assume all professionals and staff are qualified to do thier job. – Page 6
Consumers expect all legal services to be regulated, and expected levels of protection similar to existing regulation. Page 7
Consmers unclear as to what represnts good value for money – Page 8

2011
Legal Services Research Centre

Money Advice Outreach Evaluation: Qualitative Outcomes for Clients

Local is normally good (page 9) for various reasons.

2008
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer research study: experiences of black and minority ethnic people using solicitors in England and Wales

31% of BME people believe it is important for their solicitor to speak the same language as them, although 81% believe it is unimportant for their solicitor to be the same ethnicity as them.

2009
Ministry of Justice

Baseline survey to assess legal services reform: Consumers experience of using legal services for personal matters

Levels of choice consumers felt they had – page 13 & 14

2010
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumers and conveyancing: attitudes towards using solicitors for conveyancing services

27% of those who had used a conveyancing service used a solicitor previously used, 24% used one recommended by an acquaintance, 12% used one recommended by an estate agent

2009
Esben Sloth Andersen and Kristian Philipsen

The evolution of credence goods in customer markets: exchanging `pigs in pokes’ Esben Sloth Andersen and Kristian Philipsen

Discussing general theory of the purchase of credence goods:
Framework for classifying different products and services based on pre-purchase and post-purchase costs of quality detection:
1. search characteristics have low pre-costs of quality detection and thus allow the buyer to shop around and the best-quality specimen by simple
inspection; 2. experience characteristics have high pre-costs but low post-costs since quality information is obtained by the buyer as a by-product of use after the
purchase; this information provides input to the decision making about repeated purchases; 3. credence characteristics have high pre-costs and high post-costs of quality detection; as a result the buyer has to rely on third-party judgements or on the seller’s credentials, i.e. the undisputed record of honesty, competence and determination with respect to the quality of supply. Page 2
Suggest that because of complexity, consumers have to assume that a large proportion of critical characteristics are ok, and when this assumption is provided wrong consumers often react angrily. Page 4
Distinguishes between manifest credence characteristics that influence buying behaviour and are explicitly taken into account at the time of purchase, and latent credence characteristics that do not influence buying behaviour at the point of purchase. “a characteristic is only manifest if there is variety among the suppliers. If the credence characteristic has become a general market standard, consumers will forget about it.” Page 4
Because all characteristics are not discernable to the buyer, and testing of them is quite challenging, the seller can integrate characteristics into a composite characteristic e.g. against present day standards. Buyers will switch sellers as opposed to try to fathom each of the characteristics.
“The brand or trademark is to a large extent explained by the fact that the variation of the levels of quality characteristics of a commodity tends to be less between specimens from a single producer-seller than between specimens from different sellers”. Page 6
Market-based credence goods mainly exist in a type of market where customers are normally loyal to a particular seller from whom regular purchases is made. Because firms and customers have incomplete information each participant in the market has to rely on his/her beliefs of desires and capabilities of the other participants and on expectations about the current and future industry conditions. The buyer will normally prefer established well reputed sellers, meaning that new entrants need to establish a good reputation. Because of consumers problems with quality detection and the costs of establishing a new relationship, reactions are sluggish and erratic. – Page 8. This means that Sellers can rely upon a relatively stable stock of customers, offering the opportunity to engage in mark up pricing or quality reductions. Page 9.

1998
Legal Services Commission

Research on Ethnic Diversity amongst suppliers of Legal Aid services

(page 59). An analysis of the client profiles for civil legal aid contractors shows that 38.5% of BME clients chose BME managed suppliers and 51.2% chose white managed suppliers a further 10.3% of BME clients chose firms with split control. Whereas 3.9% of white clients went to BME firms and 92.5% went to white firms and 3.6% to suppliers with split management control.41
This analysis also shows that of the 165 BME suppliers; 77.2% of clients are BME. Of the 1368 white managed suppliers 84.2% of clients are white. Of the 67 suppliers with split control the client profile is also split 51% white and 49% BME.

2006
Department for Business Innovation & Skills

Something for nothing? Employment Tribunal claimants’ perspectives on legal funding

Discusses how claimants find advisor – including whether advertising has a role (page 16 – 18). If claimants use unions or LEI, they may be required to use specific advisors – page 18 – 20.

2009
Legal Services Board

LSB Initial consumer research – data

Did you shop around for legal advice?
In general only 14% shopped around, 77% felt didn

2009
Lawyer Locator

The Future of Small Law Firms Jeopardy or Opportunity

Clients were asked to identify the three qualities that are most important when choosing a lawyer. Sixty percent said specialised knowledge of the legal issues involved and 60% said

2010
Office of Fair Trading

Home buying and selling A Market Study February 2010

Chart 6.26: Whether investigated other service providers in conveyancing before deciding on third party services – Sellers – 48% yes Buyers 48% yes

OFT research found some evidence to suggest that people who chose to use their own family solicitor or who went with a personal recommendation of a solicitor, were less likely to seek advance notice of their fees. It appeared that the outlining of the fees by solicitors in their confirmation of appointment letter was seen by the consumer as set in stone rather than as information they could then use to negotiate more favourable terms or a basis from which to start shopping around – Para 6.33 – OFT Qualitative Consumer Survey Report, GfK 2009 (Paragraph 7.6, page 11)

2010
Mayor of London

Into the Labyrinth: legal advice for asylum seekers in London

Asylum seekers find a legal adviser through friends, relatives and community members; reception assistant agencies; refugee community organisations; other voluntary, community and charity organisations; health services; interpreters; agents who have brought asylum seekers into the country.

2005
Communications Consumer Panel

Behavioural Economics and Vulnerable Consumers

How consumers buy services in general. For example, people have a “status quo” bias (page 4), people follow “bandwagon effect” etc (page 4). In other sectors (electricity) “vulnerable” customers are less likely to shop around (page 10).

2010
Nef consulting

The socio-economic value of law centres

Table on page 12 gives an indicative summary of a client journey (including post advice).

2008
Ministry of Justice

Court experience of adults with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and limited mental capacity. Report 4: After court

Table highlights post-court advice service providers available (page 13-14).

2010
California Adminstartive Office of the Courts

Developing the Continuum of Civil Legal Services in California

Reports on courts in California directly providing legal services. This is because so many people start by going to court rather than going to a lawyer (e.g. 70% of divorce cases involve at least one person without an attorney, 90% of domestic violence cases involve no attorneys). This is delivered through Self Help Centres (Provide assistance with determining which forms to use, how to proceed with action, explain process; Neutral

2010
Law & Society Review

Doing business: the management of uncertainty in lawyers’ work

This whole report focuses on how major corporate deals are negotiated – who’s involved, and how the matter progresses.

2001
The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys

Trade marks: a career in trade marks

Summarises what trade mark attorneys advise on (page 3)

2010
Changing Ageing Partnership

Digital divide, older people and online legal advice

There is little knowledge of where to find adequate information and advice for specific issues

2009
University of Westminster

CASE ALLOCATION IN ENGLAND John Flood

Summarises the court system for both criminal and civil law matters – a kind of journey (pages 3 and 4).Points out that, in commercial law disputes, ADR has become the norm (page 15).

2005
Cardiff University

An anatomy of access – evaluating entry, initial advice and signposting using model clients

The journey does not start well, according to this mystery shopper exercise – it is often difficult to get through on to the phone to NFP providers (page 15). In person visits fared somewhat better (page 16). First response to query summarised (page 18). Time taken to see advisor (page 19). How long interviews take (page 23). Signposting by advisors summarised (page 26 onwards). Solicitors might like to signpost to other advisors than NFP advisors (page 33).

2002
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

CDS Direct: Flying in the face of the evidence

Summarises how suspects were treated when arrested, in relation to obtaining a solicitor (page 7 – 9). Duty solicitors are more likely to offer telephone only advice, compared with a suspect’s own solicitor (page 10).

2008
Legal Services Research Centre

Community legal advice centre: a survey of clients in reception

Table shows how clients found out about CLAS – most common source of information is generally referrals (pages 31 and 32). Another table shows where survey respondents had previously got advice fro – page 36).

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Assessing the impact of advice for people with debt problems

Summarised at what point in debt problem advice tended to be sought (page 4).

2008
Legal Services Research Centre

The Experience of Money and Debt Problems in Rural Areas

Table on page 19 shows how consumers of debt advice went about getting advice (or didn’t),

2009
Tilburg University

Legal aid, accessible courts or legal information? Three access to justice strategies compared

Suggests in a well-functioning courts system, 60-90% of cases will settle before the court intervenes (page 7).

2010
ACCA

Providing human resources / employment advice to SMEs: the role of SMPs

SMEs most likely to need employment advice are 20+ employees who are big, but not big enough to employ and HR manager (page 21)

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

One Place, One Stop

Slide 12 map of client journey in CLAC

2010
Ministry of Justice

Twelve months later: does advice help? The impact of debt advice – advice agency clients study – Kim Williams and Anna Sansom

Survey examines what happened to respondents after getting debt advice (page 39 onwards).

2007
Legal Services Research Centre

Causes of Action: Civil Law and Social JusticeThe Final Report of the First LSRC Survey of Justiciable Problems

Responses to problems – pages 49-90

2004
Lord Chancellor's department

The effectiveness of representations at tribunals Hazel Genn & Yvette Genn

Very old data on tribunals usage (page 2). Explains journey for a range of different types of client issues – immigration, mental heath etc (page 6). Social service journey within survey sample group (page 14), immigration (page 29), industrial tribunals (page 40), mental health tribunals (page 56). This whole is very stats heavy – and broken down by many variables. consult contents page for specific stats.

1989
Centre for Socio-Legal Studies / University of Lincoln

International conference on litigation funding

Summary of journey for third party litigation funded work in Australia (page 34-35).

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Report of the 2006 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey

Use of advisers – pages 55 -62

2007
Ministry of Justice

What’s cost got to do with it? The impact of changing court fees on users

Summary of journey court users typically go through before going to court (page ii) More details on reason why people use the court (page16 – 22). More on pre-court journey – which services did court users rely on (page 24 – 28).

2007
Legal Services Research Centre

Report of the 2007 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey

Use of advisers – page 55

2008
Department for Business Innovation & Skills

Something for nothing? Employment Tribunal claimants’ perspectives on legal funding

Summarises which types of advisors claimants go to (page 12 -13). Discussion percentage of claimants who settle (page 48).

2009
Cardiff University

The Advice Needs of Lone Parents Richard Moorhead, Mark Sefton and Gillian Douglas

Across the range of problems, 55 per cent had contacted a solicitor, and 34 per cent had approached a Citizens Advice Bureau or other advice agency.
For some problem types, there was no obvious

2004
Legal Services Research Centre

Social Exclusion and Civil Law: Experience of Civil Justice Problems among Vulnerable Groups

37% of respondents with legal problems handle their problems alone, 53% seek advice. Low income respondents less likely to handle problems alone, more likely to obtain advice and twice as likely as other respondents to try, fail then handle their problems alone

2005
The Law Society

More civil justice? The impact of the Woolf reforms on pre-action behaviour

Discusses litigation journey for various legal specialism (pages xxi – xxvii). More on journeys for litigation post Woolf – pages 4 to 6). In PI cases, most don

2002
Legal Services Research Centre

Criminal defence services: users’ perspective

Discusses how criminal defendants get a solicitor (page 4). Page 46 – how people chose their lawyer to represent them in criminal matters (page 46).

2008
Association of British Insurers

ABI’s response to the Legal Services Consumer Panel Investigation into referral arrangements

covers the existence of claims management companies, who guide claimants to approved firms (page 3).

2010
Solicitors Journal

Reaching further

CLA phone line currently just signposts clients to legal aid providers – it could actively help them find one (page 37).

2010
Ministry of Justice

Baseline survey to assess legal services reform: Consumers experience of using legal services for personal matters

Breakdown of referrals – page 12

2010
Legal Services Research Centre

Findings from the Legal Advice Sector Workforce Surveys

Breakdown of client base of various publically funded legal advisors by geography – to what extent is their client base national, local etc (page 43).

2007
Mayor of London

Into the Labyrinth: legal advice for asylum seekers in London

Asylum seekers are unlikely to know how to find a legal adviser. 85% of asylum seekers obtain legal advice in the initial stage of the asylum process.

2005
Ministry of Justice

Summary: training and regulating providers of publicly funded legal advice – a case study of civil provision

Report summarises various routes to publically funded legal advice (page 2).

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Piecing it Together:Exploring One-Stop Shop Legal Service Delivery in Community Legal Advice Centres

Advisors in particular were aware that:

2010
AdviceUK

It’s the system, stupid! Radically rethinking advice

Report summarises typical client journey – but also the organisational problems these problems may produce the the advising agency (page 19).

2008
Advice UK

Signposting, Referral and Referral Networks – Discussion Document

Report points out that advisors can “signpost” or “refer” clients to other experts, who may be better able to help (page 2). Gives examples of electronic referrals systems (page 7).

2010
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Advice Agencies, Advisors and their Clients: Perceptions of quality

Report discusses how sample group discovered advice centres (page 24 – 25). Generally anecdotal.

2005
Solicitors Regulation Authority

Consumer research study: experiences of black and minority ethnic people using solicitors in England and Wales

34% of BME people use the internet to search for a solicitor

2009
Vanilla Research

Referral Arrangements Research

Refers to MOJ research, which suggested that the preferred method of finding a lawyer was via a personal recommendation (page 10). Other routes discussed.

2010
Advice Services Alliance

On line referal systems

Problems with cross organisational referrals – slide 2

2005