Law Society asks for members’ views on unbundling

The Law Society of England and Wales is today (27 October) calling on its members to share their experiences about how they are delivering unbundled* legal services.

Unbundling allows solicitors and clients to agree that some tasks traditionally carried out by a solicitor such as – drafting letters, attending court hearings or legal research – will be completed by the client themselves. This reduces the overall cost but enables access to expert advice at critical stages.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has found that for some consumers unbundling has the potential to increase access to justice as it makes some legal services more affordable.**

However, the Law Society has previously raised concerns about the risks faced by solicitors offering unbundled services. In particular, it believes that offering these services could impact on solicitors’ ability to obtain professional indemnity insurance and that their premiums could be increased substantially because of the risk of a claim if a client makes an error on one of the unbundled tasks.

The Law Society is asking members who are interested in sharing their views on unbundled legal services to email by Friday 17 November. A roundtable will also be held in the New Year to gather more views.

Law Society president Nick Emmerson said: “Recent research has highlighted the benefits of unbundling for consumers. As such, it is important that the Law Society better understands how members are delivering unbundled services and the risks and benefits.

“We are particularly interested in how members are managing their liability and the extent to which these services are expanding their client base and increasing revenue.

"We encourage members to share their views to help us understand how we can best support them in delivering unbundled services going forward.”

Notes to editors

* An ‘unbundled’ legal service is when the tasks that make up a service are divided between the consumer and provider. By carrying out some of the less complex areas themselves, clients reduce the overall cost and retain a certain amount of control over how quickly their matter progresses.

 A ‘bundled’ or ‘end-to-end’ legal service is where the law firm or solicitor is paid for all matters concerning the case.

** Read the SRA’s Unbundled services pilot: final report

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

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