Unbundled legal services - one legal solution not the legal solution!

Published: 02/12/2013

Recent research by the Legal Services Board found that the public had little appetite for paying an amount on top of their legal fees to cover the cost of professional regulation, although the survey participants did recognise the protection it afforded them, even if they were unprepared to pay for it!

‘This survey gives an interesting context when considering the changes happening in the Legal Services market place currently’ explained Eddie Goldsmith, Senior Partner at property solicitors Goldsmith Williams.

Following the Legal Services Act 2007 and the development of Alternative Business Structures there have been an unprecedented number of new business models introduced into the market place. Some of these models are based upon ‘unbundling’ legal services with new entrants coming to market solely providing online legal templates for example.

In my own firm we too have embraced these new, innovative techniques launching Landlord Hero – an online service offering help for landlords to manage their property portfolio, including legal templates and we’ve seen a good take-up of this service.

However we do highlight the limitations of these standard templates to put our clients “in the driving seat” in managing any risks associated with the use of these rather than a bespoke document that meets their particular landlord law requirements.

Clients also need to be made aware of the framework of protection that is in place when they do instruct solicitors including the oversight of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, the Professional Indemnity cover and the scrutiny of the Legal Ombudsman.

I guess that exemplifies the note of caution I’d sound – as with many other services, so in legal services – you get what you pay for. Those brokers looking to offer a comprehensive property service to their clients should be aware of online services such as Landlord Hero but should be sure to present a balanced view of such services, ensuring that they can also recommend a property law firm to help landlord clients with more complex legal issues.’

Content correct at time of publication

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