Lower profitability and the possibility of having to turn away clients pass4sure 70-298 are law firms’ main concerns ahead of implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), according to new research.
The survey of 102 firms of different sizes also revealed that fewer than half pass4sure C2040-918 appear to be actively making changes to prepare for implementation of the Act next April, with only 5% saying they are fully prepared.
The poll, conducted on behalf of LexisNexis publication Cook on Costs and featuring respondents who bought the book, found that that 36% of respondents are negative about the impact of LASPO on their businesses, with 50% unsure or believing it will have no effect – 8% were ‘fairly positive’.
Asked about their particular concerns for their business, respondents highlighted lower profitability (29%), having to turn away certain clients (24%) and having to turn away certain business types (21%).
Little more than one in five could identify any benefits for their practice from the Act. A few expect improvements in cost control and efficiency, while a handful thought they may be able to pick up business that other firms will no longer handle.
Fewer than half of the firms appear to be actively making changes to prepare for the Act – 5% considered themselves fully prepared, 43% are ‘currently preparing’, and a further 24% are ‘planning action’. One in six of respondents believed they do not need to change.
The kinds of changes being made or contemplated are new compliance processes, greater internal efficiencies and new technology. The research added: “However, the Act may have more fundamental effects on the legal market in England and Wales. Nearly one in ten say that they have already changed their practice’s business structure, and one in four that they have planned this. There may also be staff movements, although, on the positive side, more have taken on or planned to take on new people (18%) than have made or planned redundancies (12%).”
Unsurprisingly, most thought that LASPO will have a negative impact on the justice system, although there was some acknowledgement that clients will benefit from greater control of costs.
Cook on Costs spokeswoman Clare McMahon: “For lawyers specialising in civil litigation to express concern for people who need recourse to the law but may not be able to attain it, is worrying. In the coming years, it will be important to see alternative ways for helping the most vulnerable including pro bono work.”