No such thing as free lunch

Adrian Pellman

Your editorial in The Lawyer 22 August is the subject of comment by your correspondent Mr Alton ('Cut-price will cut service' 5 September) who said "you rightly say that, it is time for the conveyancers to give the public what they want". He goes on to say that evidence suggests the public are more concerned with quality than fees.

I think you are entirely wrong and Mr Alton not entirely right. The evidence suggests a large part of the public wants something for nothing. They want a proper quality service and do not want to pay for it. They have been encouraged in this by the timidity of the profession.

It is not surprising private client firms are in such difficulties when they choose to offer conveyancing at a loss, legal aid at an effective loss and wills at a gross loss.

For lawyers to offer wills at a gross loss in Will Week and to attract conveyancing and trivial debt collecting is sheer lunacy. In no other country do lawyers eagerly offer all their services at a loss.

The profession has only itself to blame. What is most disturbing is the attitude of many leading figures of the profession who seem to think the only solution is to bend over backwards with new technology to give the public something for nothing, instead of firmly telling the public they cannot have it.

Adrian Pellman


Brookers Hill

Berks RG2 9BX