Online legal searches – what are small businesses looking for ?

At Darlingtons, we can confidently say that we get the internet and we get the fact that there are a very significant number of people searching for law related materials online. Some lawyers still don’t get the internet – they don ‘t think that people use the internet for other than information searches and they

Home » James Swede » Online legal searches – what are small businesses looking for ?
James Swede - Senior Partner & head of property law
James Swede – Senior Partner & head of property law

At Darlingtons, we can confidently say that we get the internet and we get the fact that there are a very significant number of people searching for law related materials online.

Some lawyers still don’t get the internet – they don ‘t think that people use the internet for other than information searches and they don’t get the fact that the internet is used by businesses and individuals considering instructing lawyers. Even existing clients will make judgments based on perception of whether the firm and it’s lawyers are dynamic and progressive. In short, clients are often uncomfortable dealing with an organisation which doesn’t understand the impact of the digital revolution. If their lawyers don’t understand it, are they the sort of lawyers to use ?

So, what are small businesses looking for when they search online for law  ?

The table below is part of a much bigger research report on small business attitude to and use of lawyers.

Law related seraches by small businesses

So what does the data show ?

Taking into account there are millions of UK searches for legal information and advice per annum, it’s clear that a significant number of small businesses are seriously considering buying contract templates online. we understand the temptation to do this – it’s a lot cheaper. many of the templates now available are interactive and well drafted and comprehensive. However – as with any contract, the key thing is for the business which is using and relying on that contract to understand it. If you don’t understand what a clause means, what happens if the counterparty, customer or supplier, breaches the contract – can you cancel the contract, what are your legal rights ? What happens if the other party claims that you varied the contract by an inadvertent email or conversation ? these are key issues and key reasons why, even if you are minded to buy a template, you would be well advised to get some advice on how it works.

The data also clearly shows  that a proportion of legal searches are looking for solicitors and bespoke legal advice. Bearing in min d the very significant volume of online law related searches, what may appear to be a small proportion still translates to a large potential market for lawyers.

In short, ignore the internet at your peril – if you would like to find out more about us and why we you should consider instructing us, get in touch or have a good look around the site.

James Swede

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