There is a clear need to work harder to make small businesses realise they can talk to there solicitors and what we can offer. We have a lot of experience in dealing with a wide range of issues for businesses. While we understand the legal issues, we also appreciate the need to be commercial and find commercial solutions. There is a need for us to work more closely with our clients and to be accessible so we can be seen as a trusted partner.
Speaking at a conference fringe meeting on access to justice, McTague said there is a mismatch between lawyers and their clients, with small businesses feeling unable to approach law firms because they do not understand the process. ‘The legal services market is basically broken,’ he said. ‘There is a clear knowledge gap when you talk to a lot of our members. They are not clear when you go from a commercial issue to a legal dispute and they resist having to cross that boundary.’