DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Legal Services for UK SMEs 2021: Consumer Research Report” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.
SMEs have a wide and varied range of legal needs and almost half have regular needs, i.e. a legal issue at least once a month.
These legal needs are addressed in numerous ways: law firms and solicitors are the main source of legal advice for SMEs but they are only used by a third of SMEs in this survey reflecting the competitive nature of this particular legal advice sector.
There are clear opportunities in this sector for legal advice providers as almost half of all SMEs are expecting to increase their demand for legal advice in the next 18 months and, in particular, will be looking for more legal advice related to redundancies, new ways of working, employment contract changes, and financial issues following the pandemic. Over half of SMEs surveyed are expecting to make some staff redundant once furlough ends.
There are also opportunities for more flexible pricing models: hourly fees still account for the most used payment method but more SMEs would prefer other options like fixed fees or retainer/subscription based models. Flexible approaches to the client-advisor relationship are shown by the fact that over a quarter of SMEs have already embedded external legal advisors into their business at some point to fill staff gaps or to work on specific projects for example.
The Legal Services for UK SMEs Research Report 2021 is based on responses from 383 owners and senior executives.
Other headlines from the survey include:
- 65% of respondents had consultations with their legal advisor during the pandemic and half of these used video for these consultations. Over 8 out of 10 were comfortable with the video consultation and would be happy to continue to use this approach.
- Price information on a law firm website would be a factor in persuading an SME to use that firm over another that did not publish prices: 80% of participants agree with this.
- Around three-quarters would be interested in other professional services offered by law firms. A similar percentage would consider legal services from accountants.
Key Topics Covered:
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- Almost half of SMEs have at least one legal issue every month or more
- Employment, tax, contracts, health & safety – main legal issues
- Various sources used for legal advice but led by law firms and solicitors
- Over a quarter have brought external advisors into their business at some point
- No standard approach for the procurement of legal services
- Over a third use law firms/solicitors a few times a year
- A clear majority use the same solicitor for both business and personal advice
- Around 8 out of 10 are satisfied with most service features from legal advisors
- Choice factors led by experience and reputation
- A mix of fee models but hourly fees still important
- Video consultations popular in pandemic and over 8 out of 10 comfortable with these
- Clear interest in other professional services from law firms and vice-versa
- Price information on a law firm website is an influence on choice
- Redundancies likely for majority plus more hybrid working
- Almost half of SMEs are expecting their demand for legal advice to increase
- The need for Brexit-related legal advice will be here for a while
3. LEGAL MATTERS ARISING FOR SMES
- Minority are dealing with legal issues very frequently
- Almost half are expecting to see their demands for legal advice to increase
- Employment and redundancies after COVID lead future demand
4. LEGAL ADVICE AREAS
- Employment law leads the way for legal advice
5. SOURCES USED FOR LEGAL ADVICE
- Solicitors/law firms main sources used but 14 other sources are also options
- Various approaches used when procuring legal services
- Over a quarter have embedded external legal professionals into their business
6. USE OF SOLICITORS AND LAW FIRMS
- Most using law firms and solicitors are regular users of these advice sources
- Over three-quarters use same law firm/solicitor for a range of legal advice
- Most service features are rated as good or better
- Top quality indicators – experience/reputation, understanding of business sector
7. PAYING FOR LEGAL ADVICE
- Hourly fees for legal advice still important for SME users
- 8 out of 10 SMEs would prefer a fixed fee option but other options also popular
8. CONSULTATIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC
- Half involved in a video consultation during the pandemic
- Large majority comfortable with video consultations
9. LEGAL/OTHER SERVICES OPTIONS AND PUBLISHED PRICES
10. SMES AFTER BREXIT AND COVID
- Flexible working for most after COVID but redundancies for a majority of SMEs
- Brexit increases demand for legal advice both in the short and long run
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/nx6k0e
ResearchAndMarkets.com is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.