Market disruptor seeks to emulate Uber and Deliveroo

Topics: Law firm & practice management

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A national firm backed by a multi-billion-pound US corporation has pledged to shake up the legal market with a new way of approaching advice services to small businesses, including round-the-clock access to lawyers. 

LHS Solicitors, which became part of the Markel Corporation in 2014, this week unveiled its new website and a host of consumer-centred features.

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The company will target small and medium-sized businesses and offer a range of options, from ‘doing it themselves’ based on legal information provided, to a £50 quick review of an issue with a 30-minute call-back from a qualified solicitor or barrister.

Clients are updated on the progress of their case through videos, with costs outlined in advance, and services are available 24 hours a day.

LHS says its inspiration has been market ‘disruptors’ such as food delivery business Deliveroo and taxi firm Uber and it says the time is right for a legal services provider to change the sector in a similar way.

Managing director Richard Candy said the time for the SME market to get a better deal when buying legal services was ‘long overdue’.

‘We strongly believe that law firms need to fundamentally change the way they operate to give customers more choice, more transparency on costings and a speedier and more relevant service,’ he added.

‘During the next five years, the legal market will move more towards a retail-style, consumer-driven approach to the delivery of more convenient legal solutions for businesses. We’re proud to be pioneers and we’re excited to be leading the way.’

LHS has around 120 staff members and operates from offices in London, Croydon and Manchester.

It specialises in business legal services, telephone legal advice and crime and regulatory work. Clients include the Federation of Small Businesses, whose members make 150,000 calls every year to its legal advice telephone service, and the Chief Police Officers Staff Association.

* Pictured are the firm's leaders Richard Candy, Murray Fairclough, Ian Lewis and Graham Small.

Readers' comments (24)

  • Another game changer.

    '' we strongly believe law firms need to change''--cheeky sods.

    So they think they've revolutionized legal services (more like prostituted them) by offering a quick 50 quid shot of legal advice at 3am :) you couldn't make it up.

    I''ll give it two years before the loot runs out and they go bust.

    Stick to the traditional and professional model and stop trying to make a cheap buck with clap trap like this.

    You'll have 100 monkeys typing in the legal problem on google or wikipedia and reading from the screen.

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  • There have been many firms opening up on a Saturday morning, but one in particular, I can think of, stopped, saying they weren't covering their overheads for opening up as there were very few calls/appointments. You can only experiment, but with email, Skype /facetime etc. firms and clients already have the means to communicate. I don't see what's so revolutionary in this ??

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  • Best of luck to them, I can only suggest that they instruct the appropriate QC to draft their retainer paperwork to a sufficient standard to ensure that they cannot be successfully sued if one of their lawyers make a boo-boo when advising a Client at 3am on their 5th straight night shift.

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  • yawn

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  • Just so you are aware, we have dealings with Markel. They are insurers. The article doesn't mention that Markel is a major insurance player. Another effort by insurers to get into the very market they have done as much as anyone to destroy, whilst flogging cases out of the back door.

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  • I'm afraid LHS won't revolutionise anything with that model. Even if every one of the 150,000 inbound calls pays 50 quid that is 7.5 million. They also say they want to triple income from 12 million to 36 million in 5 years. Unless the number of calls increases that is not going to happen via that route anyway.

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  • Nothing wrong with ambition and creativity in business but is this really news worthy. It is akin to Tesco knocking a penny off a bag of frozen peas!

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  • I recall Stobart Barristers saying the same thing......and Co-op Legal etc etc etc

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  • As I believe the youth have it, 'Get in the sea'.

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  • Oh, no, not another S&G! Can't they learn from past mistakes?

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