Wales Business Insider Magazine, October 2011

The Legal Services Act is likely to shake up high-street law firms and may have a deep impact on the way commercial firms operate. We asked some of the leading players in Wales how they plan to respond.

We asked Sarah Wyburn, Partner, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice LLP:

What will be the effect of the Act on the legal industry in Wales?

“I’d expect an increase in external investment and possibly some household brand names setting up shop, but I don’t think it will mean the end of the independent law firm. The real impact will be that investors will be looking for profitable work to ensure a return on their capital, and combined with most legal aid funding being withdrawn for family disputes, it will probably make it much harder for consumers to get legal aid representation. I expect most firms will seriously have to consider giving up legal aid work.”

What will your firm’s response be?

“Most of our work is private, so the legal aid cuts will not affect us as much as some other firms. Family law is an area where I believe people want a personal, bespoke service from a dedicated specialist. The fact that we specialise in this one particular area of law is a real asset when we’re approached by new clients.”