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LSB: Don't buy legal services from the South East if you can help it

More than half of firms in England and Wales are now able to deliver conveyancing services remotely

6 April 2016

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Consumers of legal services in the South East of England should consider instructing solicitors across England and Wales to save money, in cases where face-to-face interaction is not necessary.

This is according to research from the Legal Services Board (LSB) which has found that 'prices in the South East are 26-31 per cent higher on average than elsewhere'.

As firms have become more flexible and creative in their delivery of services such as conveyancing, divorce, wills, power of attorney and estate demonstration, their ability to offer these services remotely has also been enhanced.

However the chief executive of the LSB, Neil Buckley, has said that there is still a long way to go before remote services delivers the panacea of affordable legal services.

'For consumers in the South East in particular, our research shows that a premium may be paid for direct, locally sourced legal services of the type covered by this report.

'The legal services market is changing and we are seeing numerous signs of innovation as new providers enter the market and existing providers develop their services. But there is still some way to go before all consumers can be confident of finding the legal service they need at a price they can afford.'

Over half of the firms (52 per cent) responding to the survey said they were able to provide conveyancing remotely.

This contrasted sharply with divorce where only 35 per cent said they were happy to provide a remote option in an uncontested scenario, and only 29 per cent had an option where there was a disagreement over children.

Similarly to divorce, only 25 per cent of firms had a remote option for grant of probate and estate administration, and 15 per cent would offer lasting power of attorney to a remote client.

The research also found that firms offering a fixed fee approach generally charge less than those charging in other ways.


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