Consumer views and their experiences on using solicitors services and their awareness of the SRA

Year: 2007

Researcher: Sidekick

Who we spoke to: 1,000 adults in England and Wales

How we spoke to them: By telephone and through focus groups


This was our first major consumer research study and we looked at a range of issues to gather information on what people think about solicitors. We also asked the people taking part for their views on referral arrangements and situations where a solicitor might be recommended to them by another professional, such as an Estate Agent.

Some key findings

  • 39% of the people we spoke to expressed concern about the independence of legal advice provided to them from a solicitor connected to a referral arrangement. However when the concept was then explained in detail to them the majority of people felt comfortable with such arrangements provided that any fee involved was disclosed and the process was transparent.

What we did with the results

The SRA had recently opened its doors when this research took place and it helped us to ensure from the outset that we were able to understand the experiences of consumers and take these on board in developing our work. We used the evidence from consumers to support our work in looking at referral arrangements and whether or not they were justified.