High street law firms survey

High street law firms survey

On Monday the Law Society announced that, jointly with the Ministry of Justice and the Legal Services Board, it intended to commission research to understand more about ‘high street’ law firms, the main providers of legal services and legal aid.

The aim of the research is to understand more about the providers of legal services ahead of regulatory changes, the reforms to legal aid, and other significant changes in the legal sector. This research will act as an initial baseline with the potential for follow-up research to be commissioned at a later date to measure the impact of changes once they have bedded in.

The Law Society needs information from a large and nationally representative sample of legal service suppliers. The research will probably take the form of telephone interviews with 2,000 senior representatives from law firms operating in England and Wales. A significant sub-group of this sample should be legal aid suppliers. Given that most legal services are supplied by smaller law firms the Society proposes to exclude the largest 200 firms (in terms of turnover) from the research, unless the firm is a legal aid provider.

The research will consist of three stages. Stage 1 will be an evaluation of a draft questionnaire provided by MoJ, LSB and LS, and a definition of sampling strategy. Stage 2 will be the main stage fieldwork, consisting of 20 minute interviews with senior representatives from 2,000 law firms across England and Wales. Stage 3 will be the analysis of survey results, together with the written report and presentation of the results. The findings from this research will be used to produce a state of the market report and to inform the on-going work of the three sponsoring bodies.

Stage 1 is expected to take place mid January 2012 – mid March 2012; stage 2 is expected to take place mid March 2012 – end May 2012; and stage 3 is expected to take place beginning Jun 2012 – end July 2012.
Expressions of interest from consortia of institutions (eg joining expertise in legal services with social survey capacity and expertise) are encouraged, although tenders from individual institutions are also welcome. But if you are interested in tendering you will have to be quick. Expressions of interest should arrive at the Law Society no later than 10.00 Monday 5 December 2011.

More details of the evidence being sought and the expected outputs for each stage can be found in the Law Society’s release at:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/newsandevents/news/view=newsarticle.law?NEWSID=444155

High Street Beeston (Garth Newton) / CC BY-SA 2.0

This post was written by:

- who has written 460 posts on Upper Case – The Anya Legal Journal.

Mike Gribbin is a retired Civil Servant with wide experience, including the drafting and implementation of Parliamentary legislation and regulations. He is the editor of “Criminal Offences Handbook”, a uniquely comprehensive guide to more than one thousand ways to fall foul of UK criminal law. He is Editor of the Upper Case Legal Journal and has been writing blog posts for the past eight years.

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