Richard Cohen, chairman, Epoq Legal

Get a new model or lose clients

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  • The concept of unbundling is not as straightforward from a professional perspective as some people believe. There are potential regulatory issues, such as around clarity of the limits of the retainer, the risks to the solicitor of being dragged into a case beyond those limits, and in assessing the capability of the client to cope with an unbundled service. There are potential questions of professional negligence liability, with the insurers and Courts sometimes being seen as quick to find a lawyer liable, in ways that militate against lawyers agreeing to do anything less than a full casework service where they keep control.

    But the Society does not believe that these issues are insoluble. We are currently working on a Practice Note to help solicitors who want to deliver unbundled services. It will flag up the regulatory and insurance issues that firms need to take into account when working in this way, and provide template retainer letters to help ensure the limits of the service the lawyer is providing are crystal clear.

    Richard Miller
    Head of Legal Aid, Law Society

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