Organisation Description Year
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
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
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