25 May 2018

Innovation happening, but no strong need to change the traditional chambers model, say respondents to our survey

Last month we published our report into the provision of legal services by barristers. The report contains the results of an online survey conducted in September and October 2016 with barristers about the future delivery of legal services.

The survey found that while there are examples of "new and innovative" business models in the market, the prevailing business model for barristers is a traditional chambers.

The attributes of newer business models include:

  • they are more likely to offer fixed fees and/or payment plans;
  • they have a more agile and flexible governance structure; and
  • they make greater use of technology to support service delivery.

However, these attributes are not unique to new or innovative organisations and could be (and indeed are being) adopted by traditional chambers.

The survey found that barristers consider that the main drivers for changing delivery model include:

  • unmet client need for legal services;
  • a need to respond to competition in the market; and
  • changing client expectations (for example, greater demand for legal professionals to be more accessible and the offer of a fixed fee payment structure).

However, the barristers who responded to the survey do not necessarily feel the need for a new approach to the delivery of legal services. This was illustrated by these key findings:

  • only 5% plan to change their fee structure;
  • 8% plan to change the way they receive instructions; and
  • 7% plan to change their governance structure.

Read the report in full on our website.