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Small businesses 'unhappy with legal services'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/03/13

A new report has suggested that small businesses in the UK are not happy with the legal services they have received, claiming that they have a strong need for certain facilities they have not been offered.

Given the importance given to enterprise by the coalition government, which tends to cast such organisations as plucky, Rocky-esque boxers battling the twin evils of red tape and the natural indolence of the British public, it is obvious that this issue will need to be addressed over the coming years.

In a keynote address to a conference on innovation in legal services, hosted by the Westminster Legal Policy Forum, Legal Services Board (LSB) strategy director Crispin Passmore said that only 12.6 per cent of smaller businesses feel that lawyers are offering them the most cost-effective service.

He cast doubt on the idea that there is a surplus of legal service providers in the UK, reports Legal Futures.  "I don't see how there can be over-supply with this level of latent demand. In fact, coupled with other research that suggests that close to 30 per cent of the general population don't get their legal needs addressed for reasons of cost and approachability of the profession, then it suggests that while progress has been made in opening up the market, we still have a long, long way to go," Mr Passmore added.

He stressed the importance of small businesses to a fully-functioning economy, and warned that not offering them the legal advice they need to expand could have a cooling effect on the UK's finances - which are already firmly ensconced in the mire.

In the month's most convoluted 'comparing lawyers to stores that sell CDs and Banksy books' metaphor, he pointed to the demise of high street giant HMV as evidence that the legal sector needs to change with the times or face becoming extinct.