Dozen silks sign up for launch of ABS LawVest

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  • LawVest? Nice idea, but will the market wear it?

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  • For the mid tier bar this is a huge wake up call. Those at the top of the commercial bar are cashing in on huge rates but it is difficult to see how smaller sets can cope with the onset of fixed fees, block contracting, reduced legal aid rates. This is just one model and certainly won't fit all, but hurrah for some much needed innovation.

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  • There seems to be a large number of barristers from 3 Pump Court on the list. Why is this?

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  • Is this the beggining of a fragmentation of the bar?

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  • The billable hour is still pretty common in transactional firms... Will they start following suit?

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  • LawVest? Is that in case they lose their shirts?

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  • This is hardly suprising as there will be an increasing number of such ventures emerging. What will be really interesting will be noting how many of them survive the first flush of enthusiasm and energy and have the longevity and resources (and management) to still be around in a year

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  • Cost certainty and price transparency are two of the three critical issues for businesses looking to instruct (as indeed they are for members of the public). The third element of high quality counsel goes without saying in a legal system as revered as ours.

    So, will this latest development lead to price wars (as is the concern in some sets)? It may, it may not. It will undoubtedly lead to price comparison.

    It will, however, result in chambers becoming more proactive in differentiating their skills and services from their competitors. They will need to become increasingly innovative in how they attract and retain business. They will need to become more aggressive in marketing their wares to the business sector and they will need to have strong partnerships in place with law firms or other legal professionals if they are to adequately meet the demands of the market.

    It promises to be a very exciting year!

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  • If it launched today, does the website launch at a later date? After four pages of google searching Riverview law I gave up and tried Lawvest, also to no avail. Am I missing something?

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  • Anonymous @4:56pm

    The sites for both LawVest and Riverview Law were the first results to come up when I searched for those terms just now on Google.co.uk. On Google.com LawVest comes up first, Riverview admittedly doesn't appear in the first few pages, but then it is a UK initiative and most users will be searching from UK search engines as Google defaults to whatever country you're based in.

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  • I really do hope this venture fails, spectacularly. This kind of thing simply serves to drive down the amount all of us earn. The profession saw this happen in conveyancing 20 years ago. Now it's happening with commercial law. Soon large legal businesses will be owned by non-lawyers and the poor lawyers who have to work in the faceless factories will be just that. Poor. Look at the miserly salaries LawVest have been offering solicitors. "Up to £30,000." How incredibly generous. It's deeply regrettable.

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  • CompareLegalCosts.com launched last year to provide a web portal for Law Firms to deliver fixed cost legal services to businesses and consumers.
    We had our critics, but the announcement by DLA and Riverview Law fully endorses our view that fixed cost legal services are the future.
    This is what businesses and consumers desire and it is welcome news that a leading global law firm shares our vision. DLA and Riverview Law lead the way and others must surely follow if they wish to thrive in this new legal landscape.
    Since launching CompareLegalCosts.com last year we have seen an influx of enquiries from businesses and consumers for a range of legal services.
    Michael Welsh
    Solicitor and Founder of CompareLegalCosts.com

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  • Who will provide the clerking and on what basis? Payment of any fee would be a breach of the BSB regulations if it were not for clerking. If payment is made direct to the new organisation, how or why would an existing chambers allow this? It would be interesting to know what the deal is with the current chambers.

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  • This is all a red herring; if you look at the scope of services on offer for the fixed fee and in particular what is not covered, all they are doing is providing basic advice on day-to-day corporate, etc. matters; the sort of thing that an in-house department would do in a medium sized company, or which would be done by a 3 year associate in a City firm. All the value-added work is subject to additional quotes, and some work they will not do at all. This is no different from engaging a client on a retainer for basic work and offering fixed fees for complex work where the scope can be agreed - my firm does both regularly. The costs are kept low by basing the staff in the North-west, where the salary mentioned is not too bad for the sort of work on offer. Saying it is some sort of earth shattering new concept is good marketing but just spin. Existing firms could replicate this at the drop of a hat and without too much loss in revenue. In Asia clients will usually require fixed fees or caps, and retainers are common.

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