First comparison site for legal services soon to break cover
From the Law Society Gazette 21/01/10:
CompareLegalSolutions [dot] com, to be launched in March, claims it will allow consumers to compare firms on price across 90 areas of law.
Prices will be displayed as fixed fees where applicable; otherwise, each firm’s average hourly rate for the chosen field of work will be shown. The website will charge law firms a monthly fee to access leads to civil legal aid work and a set fee per lead for private work such as wills and conveyancing. Managing director Thomas Dunlop said: ‘The prospect of accessing legal services as easily as buying a tin of beans will make the market a lot more price- conscious.’
I guess it was only a matter of time before the comparison site fever spread to the legal profession. As far back as two years ago, there was a well-acknowledged joke that there were so many new comparison sites bursting onto the scene, you needed a comparison site for comparison sites.
On the face of it, giving consumers greater access to a means of comparing prices is a good idea but price is not always a good guide to quality. For bog standard work - conveyancing and the like - I suppose this might make some sense. Competition in the personal injury sphere is also notoriously high - as illustrated by the vast array of PI related adverts which populate the web and daytime TV. For more complicated work, however, it may make little sense to automatically go with the firm quoting the lowest price.
Ultimately, Law firms which build up a strong reputation for excellent service but who perhaps charge a little extra than the cheapest firm out there are always going to do well when attracting business.
Finally, as an aside, I've noticed that 3 out of the 4 F1 sites which I regularly visit, are all plastered with the same ad touting the services of a well-known firm of national personal injury solicitors. What is it about readers who frequent F1 sites: are they particularly accident prone?