A report by the Legal Services Board has revealed that many small businesses are going to court without legal representation.
Only 12% of small business problems resulted in the business using a solicitor. The phrase "business problems" covers more issues than going to court and includes employee problems, a lease of premises, forming a company, etc.
52% of small businesses chose to deal with legal problems themselves without legal advice.
The statistics also went on to show that 54% of small businesses agreed that legal advice is essential but only 13% believed the use of lawyers was cost effective.
You can read the report at Legal Services Board
The report shows that small businesses tend to struggle on themselves, rather than use a solicitor. The report fails to go into more detail about why this is. Is it cost? Is it confidence?
SV Legal Opinion:
"We think that all businesses should have the confidence to approach a solicitor when a problem or opportunity arises. Many solicitors will offer a free consultation to get to grips with the issues. After the consultation, you should be provided with options and likely costs. There should be no fear about unexpected bills or charges - everything should be set out at the start and regular updates given. The legal profession should be doing more to engage with small businesses and to become a trusted adviser."
"There are circumstances when it is not cost effective to use a solicitor. Some fees may outweigh the benefit. Does your business need to spend £2,000 on tailor made terms and conditions, when £250 off the shelf terms will do at this stage of the business life? You cut your cloth accordingly."
"Our litigation courses teach you what you need to know when going to court yourself, when issuing a debt claim or dealing with a small claim. We think the trend of small businesses resolving disputes themselves will continue and we are here to help businesses stand on their own two feet."
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