Key findings from largest ever legal needs survey in England and Wales

A survey has been conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Legal Services Board (LSB) and the Law Society of England and Wales, looking to examine the current state of legal need across the jurisdiction. A nationally representative sample of 28,633 members of the public was consulted on  34 different types of legal issues, in order to gather representative data. The survey found that six in ten adults (64%) experienced a legal problem in the last four years. Key findings from the report include:

  • High unmet legal need, with 31% of those who had a contentious legal problem which was resolved, not getting help, wanting more help or their issue taking longer than two years to resolve.
  • High levels of service satisfaction with solicitors, people demonstrated greater satisfaction with the service they receive from solicitors (90%) compared to 74% from unregulated providers.
  • Difficulty in searching for prices – 24% of respondents reported difficulty searching for prices.
  • Many respondents not paying for their services directly, 57% of people who obtained professional help from a main adviser did not personally pay for it – of those 49% obtained advice through a free service, 7% were funded by an insurance company and another 7% by friends and family.

The Legal Services Board Chair Dr Helen Phillips said:

People often need legal services at the most important times of life, and sometimes when they are at their most vulnerable. Whether they’re buying, selling or renting property, seeking redress following a poor service, or a victim of crime, everyone should be able to access professional support if they need it.

However, this survey reveals a significant access to justice gap. For a variety of reasons people do not always seek legal advice. Many fail to identify the issues they face as being legal in nature. They perhaps class it as a housing issue or a financial problem or put it down to bad luck. This means they then don’t seek for the right kind of help.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

The full technical report is available here.

The interactive individual legal needs dashboard is available here.

Brought to you by ICLR.