The Inheritance Guide

We are here to help, call 0808 197 6333

A simple way to unlock probate

Customers take back control as traditional fee structures in Legal Services continue to falter

Over the last few years we have seen a step change in how customers are prepared to pay for legal services with many eschewing the traditional model of per hour fees in favour of fixed fees – indeed almost half the market transactions are now conducted in this manner. The question is what has driven this?

There are a two key reasons for this shift; changing ownership rules - encouraging new types of provider to enter the market, and the rising power of customer demand (of which the internet has been a key enabler)

The advent of alternative business structures has enabled a glut of new entrants into the market that are owned by ‘non lawyers’. These can be grouped into large corporates seeking to exploit synergies across their current customer base (Saga, for example) and online only providers. These new entrants have based their fee structures in relation to customer what the customer wants rather than the more opaque hourly fees. They have seen lower levels of trust in this industry driven in large part by the ‘black box’ of hourly fees.

The general trend to administer activities (across all industries) online as this channel is associated with choice, control and price competitiveness. As successive generations become more comfortable and confident with using the internet and the services it can offer, online take up of services is expected to keep increasing, at the expense of more traditional high street offerings. Recent research for Allen and Overy found that demand for online legal services would increase from 9% to 37%*.

This has led to the rise of what is termed ‘Unbundling’ of services where the work is shared between the consumer and the provider, reducing the overall cost to the customer and also providing them with a fixed fee structure on the specialist advice they require. Customer empowerment should be ignored at a providers peril - Customers want to feel in control, and want to shop around for these services to ensure they get a good deal and value for money.

With this in mind The Inheritance Guide has recently launched offering a free guidance service for estate administration. This enables the customer to perform the non specialized tasks for no charge It does recognise that in some instances specialist, professional advice is necessary and has therefore teamed up with a number of blue chip organisations including Prudential, Countrywide and Hugh James who as experts in their respective fields can provide advice as appropriate – on a fixed fee basis

Back to Articles

Please be patient this can take a few minutes, we are processing your information and populating the relevant forms.