UK study probes access, quality and costs in family law

Most solicitors practising family law in England and Wales appear to be providing services in line with expected standards, according to recently published research.

The study, carried out by Ecorys UK, found fairly strong agreement among consumers that their solicitor met the core competencies, particularly those relating to their professional manner. Just over one-half (58 percent) of consumers rated the overall quality of the service they received as either good or excellent.

Commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the research involved an online survey of 115 firms and a telephone survey of 117 consumers, including people defined as vulnerable due to their situation or displaying personal vulnerability characteristics.  The research team also conducted in-depth interviews with 16 firms and 23 consumers.

Most consumers (86 percent) reported that finding a solicitor was easy, and 52 percent said they based their decision on personal recommendations.

But almost half (47 percent) of consumers felt that their solicitor’s costs were more than expected. Of this group, two thirds (26 respondents) said that their solicitor had not explained why the cost was higher.

Experiences of consumers who may be vulnerable in family law: A research report for the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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