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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

SRA publishes findings on the use of comparison websites and quality indicators

SRA publishes findings on the use of comparison websites and quality indicators


The report shows that consumers find reviews helpful when choosing legal services providers

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published the findings from a pilot on 19 June into the use of comparison websites and quality indicators in the legal services market. The pilot, run by the SRA, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and CILEx Regulation, shows that consumers find comparison websites and customer reviews helpful when choosing legal services providers.

According to the SRA’s press release, the key findings include that: engagement with customer review websites is far higher among both the public and law firms than for sites comparing price or other factual information about legal services providers; barriers to comparison sites being more widely used within the legal market include a lack of public awareness, the complex nature of legal services and the relatively limited range of data available on firms profiled; and nearly half of law firms (44 per cent) encourage existing clients to post reviews to third-party sites and the majority who do this see it as providing a positive business benefit.

The year-long pilot involved brining together a range of digital comparison providers with 70 law firms, in order to better understand and explore how the two could work together to benefit consumers and firms in the legal market. In addition to this, the study is based on input from 6,000 members of the public and 250 companies that took part in focus groups and surveys on the matter. The pilot also considered what further indicators of quality may be useful in helping consumers make more informed decisions.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Philip, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: “The public increasingly expect to find readily available and comparable information online to help inform their buying decisions. Easy access to the sort of information that allows consumers to compare the quality of the legal services they are looking for benefits both consumers and firms. Our pilot demonstrated that while progress is being made in this area, there is clearly still some way to go in both identifying the most useful indicators of quality and working more closely with those who can help share this data.”