They were expected to spark innovation and a radical shake up of the legal profession. What we've actually seen so far is a series of 'me too' propositions launching to compete in an already saturated market... It's not that alternative business services providers (ABSs) haven't worked in legal services. They just haven't been different enough.
But that's finally changing.
This article examines why, amid a lot of recent criticism of these alternative 'law firms', we believe the tide is turning. The innovation and improved customer experience that was hoped for when the law was first changed to enable ABSs to be created, is finally about to be felt.
...perhaps it is not the ABS system that failed to show innovation but the lawyers that work within them and the corporate owners who have taken them on? If those launching new businesses of any description in already very crowded markets simply present a ‘me too’ proposition, without clear differentiation or the addressing of real consumer ) needs, then that ‘me too’ proposition is destined to struggle against its more established peers. ... There were never going to be quick or easy wins in this space. Indeed, looking at the substantial number of firms who exit the legal services market each year ... it’s a brave business that decides to turn its hand to selling law... But we believe it is nevertheless possible to win in this market and to become a real consumer champion for legal services.