News release

SRA launches research to look at gaps in access to justice

We have commissioned new research which will take a wide-ranging look into what gaps in legal provision may exist across England and Wales, and what impact this might have on different groups of consumers.

The independent study, led by Professors Irene Scopelliti and Zachary Estes from Bayes Business School of City University London, will initially seek to identify different groups, or segments, of consumers based on their individual needs and behaviours when a legal issue arises. The research will also, based on their findings, look to identify where gaps in provision currently exist and which consumers are most adversely affected, as well as testing policy interventions which could potentially address these gaps.

Importantly, the research will include an in-depth examination of how factors such as ethnicity and socio-economic status impact access to legal services.

Anna Bradley, Chair of the SRA said: 'We know that many people don't access the legal services they need and that's why we have commissioned this independent research. We want to understand which groups of people are most affected and why. This will in turn help us all to understand what needs to be done to help tackle the problems and then work out what part we might all need to play.'

Professor Zachary Estes of Bayes Business School added: 'We are very excited about working with SRA team. This research aims to classify consumers based on their attitudes, preferences and behavioural tendencies towards legal services offering the SRA actionable recommendations.'

The research runs until the autumn and will involve:

  • a review and consolidation of existing data on consumer segmentation
  • understanding the current level of legal service provision
  • identifying different consumer types, the information and support they require for their legal journey and common barriers they encounter
  • testing policy interventions.

The research project is part of our ongoing work aligned to our Corporate Strategy commitment to deepen our understanding of consumer concerns and requirements and raise public awareness of legal services and how to use them.

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) is a leading global business school driven by world-class knowledge, innovative education, and a vibrant community. The school has been at the forefront of business education for more than 50 years, developing leaders who help businesses thrive through change and uncertainty. Located in the heart of one of the world's top financial centres, the school has strong links to both the City of London and the thriving entrepreneurial hub of Tech City. The school educates nearly 4,000 students each year on globally-renowned courses across all levels of study including undergraduate, postgraduate and Executive Education. On graduating, students join a strong alumni community of 50,000 from 160 countries.

The new name replaces Cass Business School. In June 2020, there was increasing awareness of the links between Sir John Cass and the slave trade, which made the school, and its stakeholders, reflect on whether such a link was consistent with the school's values. The school decided that, in line with its values and principles, it should change its name and increase its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at Bayes.