If Paddy Power had been running a book on which of the ABS’s were more likely to succeed I would have put a fiver on SAGA. I think that it is commonly acknowledged that the consumer is not well served by legal services providers generally.
The Government set up ABS’s with the rationale that they would respond to unmet need and provide the innovation to consumers. SAGA, with a large client base and a demographic that had a need for services and perhaps a little more disposable income, would have been amongst the reasons that would have persuaded me to put the £5 with Paddy Power. How wrong I was (and I would have also put £5 on Co-op Legal – essentially for the same reasons).
There are other ABS in the consumer market and Competition and Markets Authority is looking at the area and due to publish its final report in December. All more complicated and difficult than it looked in the “noughties” when David Clementi set the ABS ball rolling with his 2004 report.
Further details can be seen here on the Legal Futures website.
Written by Terry Renouf, partner, BLM