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Cost of legal services in England and Wales

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Planning for the future - protecting your family and business

A recent survey by the Legal Services Board (LSB) of legal service providers has found that there is a wide discrepancy of prices charged for legal work and advice in England & Wales.

The survey unsurprisingly finds that cost of legal services in London is higher than in the provinces. For example, the LSB found that the typical cost of preparing a will in the capital of £408 was approximately two and a half times the cost in the North of England.

In addition, the LSB found that the cost of obtaining a grant of probate in the North of England was £782 compared to £1,722 in London.

A divorce involving dispute over assets would cost on average £4,395 in London which is approximately double the rate in the north of England. Uncontested divorce cases cost £908 in the capital around half as much again.

The main thrust of the LSB’s research is to make the general public more aware of price differences for the same work to increase customer awareness and competition within the market.

The Competition & Market Authority report in 2016 found that competition for individual customers and small businesses was not operating efficiently with little transparency in pricing. The upshot was legislation introduced in 2018 to compel legal firms to display pricing. This has resulted in 59% of legal firms providing wills, trusts and probate services to now publish their prices online. The uptake for legal firms providing divorce services has also increased to 52%. These figures are a significant improvement on the 20% recorded in 2017 but there is clearly a way to go.

Interestingly, the LSB also found that there was no appreciable price difference between those law firms providing services remotely or in person. Legal firms who provide entirely bespoke services and/or who compete on service were 18% more expensive than legal firms providing a standard service and/or who compete solely on price.

The underlying message for individual consumers and small businesses is clear: shop around.

Stephensons is a law firm providing national services throughout England and Wales with transparent pricing, delivering a cost efficient service. We can deal with your matter at a distance but you will still get personal service from our solicitors who will speak to you at your convenience by telephone, video conference or email. We are always pleased to help people from across the country.