Family law today is a cottage industry. Despite new entrants looking to offer national, commoditised legal services, most family law services continue to be offered and delivered in the traditional way by a large number of solicitor suppliers.
In 2013 there were about 13,500 solicitors practising family law in England and Wales – about 11 per cent of the total. Many of them are sole practitioners or work in small firms.
Most provide excellent, bespoke legal services to their local communities and long may they continue to do so. However, there is a risk for the public of lack of consistency which comes from this type of delivery model – a lack of consistency in relation to quality but also costs. This can cause confusion and can be disempowering for individuals who are seeking legal advice and support at a difficult time in their lives.