I write with reference to the article about the acquisition of TheLawSuperstore.
We agree with many of the comments responding to the article. We bought TheLawSuperstore because we saw a very impressive platform with the clear potential to add value to both consumers and legal service providers, but which was in need of some operational and commercial adjustments to succeed.
Although there are some who view comparison sites as parasitic, the same logic would suggest that supermarkets are parasitic on farmers and other consumer good manufacturers. But they are successful because they are a convenient way for consumers to compare products and prices. Increasing numbers of people are going online to look for products and services before making a major purchase. Comparison websites are a convenient way to compare potential providers based on price, other service offerings, reviews from previous customers and location. There is no question that firms can provide this information themselves via their own websites, but many firms would rather focus on their core services and in effect outsource some of their marketing to digital experts.
We recognise that some firms want instructions only, not leads, but most consumers are not yet prepared to commit to instructing a solicitor online. So sites such as TheLawSuperstore.co.uk will inevitably produce a mixture of leads and instructions. But provided they are priced appropriately, and cancelled instructions are refunded quickly, we are confident we will be able to provide a valuable source of business opportunities for the legal service providers we work with.
We believe that, over time, more and more people will be willing to buy legal services online as they already do for most other products and services. Our success at providing conveyancing leads from Reallymoving is evidence of this.
We recognise that not all firms are geared up to convert leads into instructions – we have invested in service developments at Reallymoving which will help firms do that, and we intend to transfer many of those ideas over to TheLawSuperstore.
We are not in a rush to make this work. We would rather grow steadily to create a lasting product than try to maximise the profitability of an emerging service before it’s ready. A number of firms have been in touch with us since we announced the acquisition. We look forward to adding them, and hopefully many more, to our panel over the coming weeks.
Rosie Rogers, Chief operating officer, Reallymoving, St Albans