, the price comparison website, is to launch a personal injury leads service today, becoming the first major consumer-oriented website to enter this arena.

The website claims 30 law firms have signed up to receive business leads for people seeking PI legal advice. PAA Leads, the leads generation business behind Moneysupermarket, expects conversion rates on PI leads to reach up to one in four, based on numbers from its conveyancing, wills and employment leads, launched in October 2008 (see [2008] Gazette, 4 September, 1).

Moneysupermarket and PAA Leads will attempt to turn into potential customers people searching the web through sites such as Google by reading the keywords they use, as well as by more direct approaches on Moneysupermarket’s site.

Because PI claims are generally ‘one-off’ purchases not relying on previous experience with a law firm, PAA Leads says they make a good legal business ‘type’ for sites such as Moneysupermarket.

Pricing will start at £40 per lead; it is expected that the best leads will be open to electronic bidding.

Beth Powell, head of marketing at claims referrer National Accident Helpline, one of the businesses to sign up to the service, said: 'It is great news for consumers to be able to access this advice through another trusted information point. We think it will do very well.'

Powell said this is a useful new route to market for PI firms, as some potential clients may be ‘uncomfortable’ contacting a claims firm direct, or may not be the kind of people who would catch claims firms’ daytime TV adverts.

Alastair Moyes, a legal marketing consultant and author of Marketing Legal Services: Succeeding in the New Legal Marketplace, said: ‘We will be seeing a lot more of these "enquiry broker" services popping up on popular, heavily promoted websites like Moneysupermarket. If 1% of their visitors – 120 million in 2008 – request legal services, that’s 1.2 million enquiries.’

Moyes said the move represents a double-edged sword for solicitors – enquiries are lost to high street firms – but agreed with Powell that it could also generate enquiries ‘that wouldn't have materialised without their prompting’.

‘This is more evidence of the "land grab" going on in the legal services market,’ he said.