It's official: "Lawyers are not cost-effective"

are_lawyers_cost_effective.jpgImagine, for a moment, that when faced with a serious illness, significant numbers of people took no action. And of those who did take action, around two-thirds ‘self-medicated’, either using their own judgement, or seeking help from friends and family.

The remaining third? Around half sought formal medical advice from a medical practitioner. But the other half, while seeking advice, consulted a wide range of other advisors and practitioners—some relevant, others not.

It’s a fictional scenario, to be sure. But replace the words ‘serious illness’ with ‘legal problem’, and it turns out to be a set of behaviours that accurately captures what real-life small businesses do.

And the figures themselves, to be clear, come from official regulatory body the Legal Services Board, in the shape of research into what exactly small businesses did in order to meet their legal needs. Some 9,703 small businesses were surveyed by YouGov, with the findings analysed by Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Dr Nigel Balmer of University College London—one of Britain’s premier universities.

Value for money? No.

So what’s going on? Just why do so many small businesses fail to seek appropriate legal advice?

Stripped to the basics, the answer is a stark indictment of Britain’s legal profession. For while significant numbers of the 9,703 small businesses surveyed agreed that due legal processes are essential if businesses are to be able to enforce their rights, an even larger proportion doubted that lawyers actually provided a cost-effective means of doing that.

Put another way, just 13% of those 9,703 small businesses—fewer than one in eight—thought that lawyers provided a cost-effective means of resolving legal issues.

The facts were clear, said the University College researchers: there was a strong perception that providers of legal services weren’t good value for money, with a consequent challenge to legal services firms to offer a better proposition.

The problem? How to do this economically.

No surprises

Here at The Legal Director, it’s our belief that our approach to pricing and delivering legal services is the way of the future. Quite simply, it allows smaller businesses to buy—and budget for—legal services on an affordable basis.

Either on a project basis, or on a fixed-fee retainer, we agree a scope of work and a fixed price with our clients. There are no hidden surprises, and clients know in advance what the cost will be.

Put another way, it’s like having your own in-house corporate lawyer, on-tap whenever you need them. Already budgeted for, already factored into the cost of doing business. And always on-hand and available for whatever legal challenges come along.

What’s more, our name provides a strong clue as to the nature of the relationship that we aim to build with you. Quite simply, we strive to become part of the management team—an on-site, on-tap legal director, working with you for as many days a year as you require.

What clients say

But don’t just take our word for it. Listen to what our clients told us, when we recently conducted a ‘voice of the customer’ exercise, in order to assess how well we were meeting their needs.

  • “The pricing is clear: the clock isn’t ticking"
  • “They are my in-house counsel, and have their own email addresses"
  • “They’re a real part of our senior management team."
  • “They prevent us from taking unnecessary legal advice."
  • “They’re more ‘legal consultancy’ than a law firm, we find."
  • “We like the clarity of pricing—it’s better value than a law firm.”
  • “We don’t like law firms; they feel adversarial.”

From that, we think it safe to surmise that none of our clients were among those of the surveyed 9,703 small businesses expressing their dissatisfaction to the Legal Services Board.

Simply put, at The Legal Director, we specialise in providing clear-cut legal advice in business-friendly language. Providing it affordably, to suit a business’s own needs and workloads. And providing it in a range of offerings stretching from a fixed-fee monthly retainer starting at £100 + VAT for telephone advice, to your own part-time legal director, working alongside your own board of directors.

To find out more, please call James Mallender on 07968 089 971.

Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by Warren Ryland



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