find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Specialisation of consumer legal services the ‘next wave’

Specialisation of consumer legal services the ‘next wave’

Ian Perkins, lawlab

The legal sector is continuing to evolve and the segmentation and commoditisation of consumer legal services will soon follow that of corporate legal services, according to the director of lawlab.

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, lawlab director Ian Perkins (pictured) said that technology is enabling law firms to offer specialist legal services nationwide, not just to businesses but also to consumers.

"What we're seeing now is a new kind of law firm that specialises in a particular area, aided by technology," Mr Perkins said.

"Rather than doing all kinds of law in one suburb or city, they’re doing one kind of law but doing it nationally, and with technology they can reach a broader market and still efficiently deliver services."

While this is somewhat commonplace in the corporate law sector, Mr Perkins said specialist firms focused on consumer law are beginning to emerge in response to a change in the way consumers want legal services delivered.

"There is a next wave coming and that next wave is supporting consumers in our community," Mr Perkins said.

"The segmentation of the consumer market is now following the segmentation of the last 20 years of the business market and there's going to be a greater provision and greater access to specialist legal services for consumers going forward with the ability to digitally deliver that."

Mr Perkins said the increased accessibility and trust that consumers have in technology since 10 years ago is driving this change.

"In 2006 only corporates who had enterprise grade software and enterprise bandwidth could actually engage with remote services from law firms or accountants or consultants," Mr Perkins said.

"Now everyday people through their mobile device have actually got the bandwidth and the ability to access digital service delivery, so specialist service providers can now expand their market to consumers because technology enables them to."

Conveyancing is one consumer legal service that has already shifted online with the likes of PEXA, however, Mr Perkins believes this will rapidly expand.

"I don’t think we're far away from seeing the full suite of services that consumers consume being available digitally," he said.

"In the past, consumers either didn't get legal advice or they got it from a non-expert suburban practitioner who was geographically close to them. Now they want specialist and cost-effective providers of the niche services they need for the range of points in their life where law touches them."

As consumers are more cost-conscious, Mr Perkins believes that with this segmentation and specialisation of consumer legal services will also come commoditisation.

"Once upon a time consumers would go to a lawyer and they would be $300 an hour, and they were very much a service," he said.

"Now in the consumer space you're looking at the consumption of products, or commodotised services that have been broken up into discrete packages."

A final trend that Mr Perkins thinks we will see is the collaboration of specialist consumer law firms to create referral networks.

"There's a comfort level among practitioners to work with their colleagues and let the client go elsewhere for other things," he said.

"Then the consumers are served by the best employment lawyer they can get access to, the best small claims lawyer or debt recovery lawyers they can get access to, the best wills and the best conveyancing services, but it’s not one company anymore and it’s not in their street, it’s through looking online and finding the providers that suit them."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Specialisation of consumer legal services the ‘next wave’
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...