One of the founders of the QualitySolicitors network will today set live a comparison website which he is hailing as a ‘Trip Advisor’ equivalent for solicitors.
Clients will be able to give a rating of their firm on a range of factors through the ReviewSolicitors site, with the results displayed based on the average score of each.
Law firms can register to include a link to the site in every email sent to their clients, encouraging them to rate service levels. Lawyers will be encouraged to respond personally to comments and advised on how best to do so.
The site will include a ‘premium level’ service for law firms, starting at £250 a month, which will give them top placing in search results, let them appear on the page of rival firms and provide social media support for marketing services.
The site has been created and part-funded by chief executive Saleem Arif (pictured), a marketing specialist who jointly founded QS in 2008 with Craig Holt. Arif left the network last year having helped to sell 51% of the company to private equity investor Palamon Capital Partners.
Arif said ReviewSolicitors, which will go live after the Legalex conference today, aims to get 1,000 firms signed up for the premium service and to change the way lawyers regard feedback or criticism.
‘This is something the market has been crying out for,’ he said. ‘It is disruptive and will make a massive difference to great firms that provide an excellent service – those firms have nothing to worry about.
‘There is a certain amount of hesitation because of a lack of control, and at the moment many firms publish their own testimonials, but the world has moved on. This is not about criticising solicitors but getting them to be as good as they can.’
Arif said his venture would set itself apart from other legal comparison websites through focusing on service levels rather than price.
This would help to ‘level the playing field’ for smaller firms, he suggested, who cannot compete on price with firms doing work in bulk. The information on firms has been collected over several months by an outsourcing specialist in India.
Ratings will be monitored either for self-promotion by individuals or attempts to sabotage the profile of a rival. The ratings will be weighted towards more recent feedback, with scores dating back several years taking on reduced importance.
Arif is joined in the management team by director Pete Storey, a former colleague at technology corporation IBM, who went on to found a comparison site for insurance firms in Australia. Michael Hanney, former head of business development at QS, is also a director.