Market research and analysis for one of the mainstream regulators of the legal services market in England and Wales

The Context
Our client is a regulatory body for legal services providers, e.g. law firms and solicitors, in England and Wales. In 2018, along with other regulatory bodies in the industry, it introduced new Price & Transparency Rules which set out the minimum information that legal services must provide to make sure that consumers have the information that they need when they are choosing legal services. The requirement is to publish information: price; service; complaints procedure; regulatory status.

The Client Aims

The client required an extensive research project providing a One Year Evaluation of the Transparency Reforms. The one-year review is the first stage in a regular programme of evaluation to review the long-term impact of the reforms. The aim was to consider if the rules are helping people access accurate and relevant information about a solicitor or firm when they are considering using legal services, and to understand how legal services providers are adapting to the transparency requirements.

The Service Engaged 

Our research partner IRN Research, established in 1991, is a full-service research agency which was engaged for this work. IRN included Mirabilis Primary Research resource in the team, and IRN managed and undertook the balance of the market research for this work. 

The methodology involved a mixed methods approach in a 4-month long project: 

  • Extensive online surveys of consumers and SMEs using legal services.
  • An online survey of regulated providers.
  • In-depth telephone interviews with a sample of individual consumers, SME consumers, and legal providers.
  • Boost interview samples of disabled and non-Internet users of legal services.
  • Interviews with selected stakeholders. 

Over 3,000 responses were obtained from the above methodologies.

Management Information and Business Intelligence 

Market Research, Analysis and Reporting forms part of the journey within the other service groups offered by Mirabilis Management since research is an integral part of any change, strategy, or business development journey, whether it supports brand development or is done to improve tech and operations, strategy, marketing, or sales. We include research in everything we do to support our offer. In addition, for some clients, our research services are commissioned to produce market reports for their own commercial purposes and sometimes for onward sale as a market research report for a specific industry. Our services include:  

  • Research Design
  • Sampling and Sample Design
  • Surveys and Survey Design
  • Observational Research and Secondary Data
  • Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Report writing
  • Data dashboard development and reporting
  • Presenting findings and recommendations

    For this assignment the research, analysis and reporting was successfully completed with the following deliverables:

    • A detailed report providing a “direction of travel” assessment of the early impact of the new rules.
    • Detailed anonymised survey datasets, with additional cross-tabulations.
    • Detailed anonymised interview transcripts.
    • Templates (i.e. survey tools, survey questions) that can be used for future benchmarking exercises to assess the impact of the Transparency Rules over the short, medium and long-term.


The research results provided early evidence on the specific impacts of the new rules, the benefits and challenges that have been identified, as well as some broader findings on the use of legal services and user behaviour. The results helped the regulator to consider the next steps needed to continue to monitor the medium and long-term impact of the reforms.