Mediation isn’t widely used because clients accept it – typical take up is 5% of cases, despite attempts to stimulate demand (page 1).
Among small firms, the larger of these small firms were more likely to consider merging (page 2).
Damages based contingency fees not allowed in litigation – only in relation tribunals etc (page 3)
Lawyers’ reluctance for change
Some firms want to merge
One reason why LEI may be popular in Germany – (at the time this article was written) lawyers had fee scales, and also a monopoly on legal services. Charges were therefore predicable, and also there was no where else that consumers could turn to for legal advice apart from law firms (page 13 – 14).
Some discussion of the underlying challenges of reducing fragmentation
Page 2 – sets out the eligibility to be a trade mark attorney.
Regulatory prohibitions on certain fee arrangements – i.e. contingency fees.
Summary of regulatory restrictions on referral fees (page 4-5).
Relatively different movement of workforce between different types of legal service providers (page 31).
Survey of 303 legal aid solicitors firms reports that:
Product and geographic market definition both involve two central concepts:
a. Demand-side substitutability: Measured by the extent to which customers would be willing to switch between products (or between the same product from different locations) in response to a change in relative prices.
b. Supply-side substitutability: Measured by the extent to which suppliers would be willing to switch between the products they offer (or the locations in which they offer products) in response to a change in relative prices.
It appears likely that there are distinct economic markets for legal services concerning criminal versus civil law, where civil law includes family law. It is less clear whether there are distinct markets within civil law, although this may be the case for the areas of law requiring specialist skills, such as Mental Health and Clinical Negligence.
The survey gave information on the ability of individual solicitors
Report that legal execs regard themselves has being like solicitors, but aren’t allowed to be partners at law firms (page 133).
Three years’ PQE minimum before lawyers can apply to join the Children’s panel (page 39). Many people think that requirement is not always needed (page 41).
Report suggests that Bar has responded to reductions in legal aid funding of criminal work in a number of ways: (i) chambers diversifying out of crime work, encouraging new tenants to undertake civil and commercial work, and with chambers increasing the proportion of civil and non publically funded work undertaken. (ii) Decline in number of pupilages offered. (iii) Cost reduction using IT and downsizing physical space. Some criminal sets out of London have cost structures whereby only 10-17% of overall Chambers
Useful insight about barriers to service delivery barriers.
Cash flow in relation taking on referral-based work (page 34).
Report summarises Law Society rules that were potentially anti-competitive (page 12), and what the Law Society was doing to address them (page 12 – 13). Anti-competitive bar rules were then listed (page 13), together with the Bar’s response to their proposed removal (page 13 – 17). Highlights existing restrictions on competition on both conveyancing and probate services (page 19).
Various rules which limit what barristers can and can’t do – i.e. take witness statements (pages 11 onwards).
covers EU directive, which requires legal expense insurance to the managed separately other insurance policies (page 11).
Reporting on a representative sample of practitioners by diversity, firm size (with 2-10 partners slightly over represented) grade and age. (Pages 8-10)
Legal aid solicitors were also found to have undertaken work in: business and commercial affairs, commercial property, consumer problems, employment, housing, personal bankruptcy probate, conveyancing, welfare benefits, and personal injury. Unsurprisingly, the only areas in which legal aid practitioners were more likely than non-legal aid practitioners to describe themselves as specialists were crime and family law. Similar proportions of legal aid and non legal aid solicitors classed themselves as specialists in personal injury, probate, personal bankruptcy housing and employment. However, legal aid solicitors were less likely than non-legal aid solicitors to class themselves as specialists in the following areas: conveyancing; commercial property and business and commercial affairs.
Short summary of key dates of deregulation of various aspects of the legal services market (page 795)
Solicitors lack of audience rights may mean they are unable to represent clients in certain situations (page 9).