Unbundling of legal services

Published: 26 September 2016

Author: Hayley Crossman-Shaw

Category: Firm News

Anyone seeking assistance from a solicitor is aware of the potential costs connected with the legal process, particularly if it ends in a day at court. With a rapidly changing market place and reforms to the legal aid system it can be difficult to find the best option at a budget you can afford. In reaction to this many law firms are unbundling their legal services, making them more accessible to those in need.

What do we mean by ‘unbundling’?

With a traditional retainer a solicitor usually deals with every aspect pertaining to the case on your behalf; from beginning to end. Unbundling is a way of allowing the client to take the lead, utilising the services of a solicitor as and when required. This may take a number of forms such as;

- Self-help packs

- Advice about a particular step or steps in a case

- Checking or drafting documents

- Advocacy

Should you choose to unbundle?

The main benefit of unbundling is that it may cost you less to get legal advice. It allows you access to a solicitor as and when required and you can stay in control of your budget and where you spend your money. All of this makes legal representation more available if you are working within limited means.

The pitfalls of unbundling

Whilst greater access can only be a good thing, there are some pitfalls that come with unbundling. It is not suitable for everyone or every case and the pros and cons need to be considered carefully before going ahead. These are just a few examples of where unbundling might not be the best course of action.

- The limited scope of the legal support you receive means that it may not be suitable for complex and lengthy cases.

- Lack of representation in court can be difficult at a time when you might be particularly vulnerable.

- The advice received is limited to particular issues, perhaps with limited information, and therefore may not properly take into account matters as a whole.

- In a family law case, the process will require direct contact between you and your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer which may prove challenging.

Unbundling with Burn and Co Solicitors

Now that you understand the principles, what are the next steps? If you are still unsure whether unbundling is for you, take advantage of the free first appointment service to explore the options with one of our team. Alternatively - if you are clear that unbundling is for you – book one of our Ask the Legal Expert sessions today for just £99.This 45 minute appointment gets you 45 minutes with one of our specialist lawyers for straightforward advice without any obligation to proceed further with us.