Six in 10 adults in England and Wales have experienced a legal issue in last four years, reveals poll

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19th February 2020 15:30 - Professional Services

Six in 10 adults in England and Wales have experienced a legal issue in last four years: A survey has found that in the past four years, six out of 10 adults in England and Wales have experienced a legal issue

The research by the Legal Services Board and the Law Society was the largest ever survey of its kind, collating responses from 28,633 people. 

It found that of all the advisors people had used, solicitors came out on top when it came to client satisfaction with 9 out of ten respondents reporting they were satisfied with the service they received. 

Similarly, when asked if they felt the received value for money from their solicitor, 84% said they believe they had. 

The survey also found that amongst respondents who had received professional help from a legal professional, two thirds (66%) said they feel they had a fair outcome - compared to just over half who said they did not believe the outcome to be fair (53%). 

Amongst the worst ratings for legal services were unregulated providers, with a fifth of respondents stating they were not satisfied with the service. 

The survey found that of all the respondents who had experienced a legal issue in the past four years, more than half (53%) were contentious in nature. The most frequent issues (26%) were to do with defective service or goods, or dealings with a professional, while other issues included anti-social behaviour by neighbours (14%), the purchase or sale of property (11%), employment (11%), and making or changing a will (11%). 

The research found that of all the advisors called upon by consumers, three in ten (30%) said that a solicitor was their main advisor - which rose to four in ten (40%) when dealing with more contentious issues. 

Other sources of support and advice inluded Citizens Advice, doctors, not for profit sources and law centres (amounting to 32% in total). 

A fifth of respondents said that they never even tried to get help from a professional advisor because they had assumed it would cost too much. However, according to the study, 57% of the participants who had obtained professional help did not have to pay for the services they received. 

Just a fifth said that they had shopped around for their advisor, although amongst those who themselves paid for their main advisor, this rose to one in three. 

When asked about the factors that led them to feeling dissatisfied with a service, the main reasons given were that their advisor did not do enough (32%) or that they did not operate quickly enough (31%). 

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