Consumer attitudes towards the purchase of legal services

Year: 2010

Researcher: GFK NoP

Who we spoke to: 40 adults who had recently purchased legal services or intended to do so

How we spoke to them: Face-to-face interviews


This report looks at what really matters to people when they select a provider, how advertising plays a part, and how much people know about the ways they are protected if anything goes wrong.

Some key findings

  • People do not tend to find it easy to decide when a legal services provider has the right experience and qualifications for their particular case.
  • People are generally surprised and concerned to find out that not all legal services providers need to be regulated (such as will-writers)

What we did with the results

As part of our work in designing outcomes-focused regulation we needed to build evidence to help us understand whether we needed to maintain the 'separate business rule' which helps to make sure consumers using legal services provided by an SRA-regulated firm are always protected. The research told us that most consumers simply do not recognise when a legal service is regulated and when it is not, which helped us to reach the decision that the rule needed to be preserved under our new approach to regulation in order to keep consumers well protected.