Law experts warn Google placings potentially leaving public mislead

Unregulated sellers of legal services establishing themselves at the top of Google and other internet searches are leaving the public in potential jeopardy, warns one of the region’s leading law firms.

Jim Abbott, Senior Partner, at QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank said research carried out by the Legal Services Board, which oversees law in England and Wales, showed many solicitor firms were excluded from the first page of Google in response to basic legal questions.

“Searches such as ‘legal help for divorce’ or ‘where to go for legal advice on a will’ often brings up results for unregulated organisations, who could misadvise the public,” warned Mr Abbott, whose firm have offices in Coalville and Hinckley.

“It is estimated that the unregulated sector accounts for up to 30% of total sector turnover,” he added.

He said the analysis highlighted how the public need to be on their guard.

“The internet coupled with the deregulation of some legal services means the public need to be acutely aware,” warned Mr Abbott. “Many organisations, some of them quite unscrupulous are using internet marketing tactics to get new custom, and the public sometimes think they are being given the right advice when they are not.”

He added that regulation of solicitors ensured that the advice they give the public has to be the right advice.

“As solicitors we are heavily regulated and insured to ensure the public is given the right advice and are protected,” he said.

“Legal mistakes can be extremely costly so the simple truth is if you need to pursue a legal enquiry a regulated local firm of solicitors with highly trained staff remains far and away the most sensible step,” he added.

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