Consumer awareness of legal services brands is growing - but only one law firm ranks in the top five, according to research on consumer legal services published today.

The second UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report* found just three brands have awareness levels above 50%: InjuryLawyers4U, National Accident Helpline and First4Lawyers. Irwin Mitchell was the fourth largest, and the highest scoring law firm in the listing, closely followed by Accident Advice Helpline and Slater and Gordon.

Only two other brands have awareness levels over 30%: Admiral Law and Cooperative Legal Services, the research found. 

Overall, the survey found low levels of awareness about legal regulation and complaints procedures. Only 24% of consumer clients of legal services knew that their adviser is regulated - and only 15% were aware they can go to the legal ombudsman with a complaint. Just 21% had used the internet to check their consumer rights and 18% did not consider their consumer rights at all.

However most consumer clients broadly welcomed initiatives such as publishing price information and allowing solicitors to practise outside regulated entities. A majority (58%) said that they would be either ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to use a freelance solicitor if they offered advice at a lower price than traditional firms. 

The research report was based on responses from 462 people who had used a law firm or solicitor in the past three years and a nationally representative sample of 1,060 adults. 

*The UK Legal Services Consumer Research Report 2020 (£1,200 plus VAT) from IRN Research.