Communication breakdown

‘Wake up call’ for law firms accused of lacking transparency

Chris Harte

Chris Harte: ‘we must break down barriers’

Scotland’s law firms are facing a “wake-up call” over a lack of transparency on advice and fees for smaller business clients, according to new research.

It has revealed that more than four-fifths (82%) of Scottish SMEs do not always get crystal clear communication from law firms on the level of service and how much they charge.

Medium-sized businesses (between 50-250 employees) are less confident than larger companies in getting the clarity they want from law firms. Just 31% said they always get clear advice and costings compared to 52% of firms with 250-500 employees and 44% of larger companies with over 500 staff.

Chris Harte, CEO of Morton Fraser which commissioned the research, said: “This is a wake-up call for our industry. Businesses think that law firms are not yet sufficiently clear about the three most important elements of legal service: advice, language and costs.

“We must do more to break down barriers and improve the quality of communication with clients. It is particularly concerning that so few SMEs feel as though they receive clear advice from law firms, particularly on costs.”

Chris Harte added: “All law firms should be crystal clear on their fees. The clearer we can be about the advice we give, taking a confident stance on important issues, the easier it is for clients to act on our advice.”

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