Deregulation: An Opportunity?

27 Sep 2013

The deregulation in the UK legal market will result in at least four changes. These changes are not possible or likely, they are certain, because they happen whenever deregulation occurs.


1 – Increased Competition

Deregulation invites new entrants to the market and encourages them to pursue existing opportunities. As such, there are more people present in the marketplace, fighting for a greater share of the existing whole.

2 – Prices Fall

The increased competition eventually and inevitably sees prices fall as new and existing market forces aggressively pursue clients.

3 – Innovation

Much of the innovation comes from new market entrants, who will bring with them a fresh approach and business plan. As prices fall and competition increases, the pressure will be on firms to develop new ideas and products. Market incumbents will be under pressure if they fail to innovate.

4 – Market Growth

New products and lower prices appeal to areas of the market hitherto under-served by the market’s previous state. The ‘un-met need’ of many who have previously not been part of the marketplace is met, driving more business into the marketplace.


Within the above four steps, there is substantial opportunity, not just for new entrants to the deregulated UK marketplace, but for incumbent businesses willing and able to innovate their service to appeal to potential new clients.

However, they must be fast and flexible, willing to innovate, present themselves differently and engage with clients they may have previously ignored. The new entrants to the marketplace may appear to have the advantage, but existing legal firms already have their place in the legal market to exploit.

As well as that, many firms already have a strong reputation, clients who are willing to refer them and more experience than new entrants will be bringing.

The opportunity in a deregulated market then, exists not only for new entrants, arriving on the back of the deregulation, but for those already here, providing they can adapt accordingly. The above four market conditions exist for everyone and will see a growth in the £30bn per year legal market. Is your firm ready to grab a slice of the increase, or are you planning on leaving it to the new market forces?

Philip Jepson picture

By Philip Jepson. Phil is the Chairman of Jepson Holt Ltd., which he established in 2004. His main focus in the business is helping law firms grow their businesses and lawyers develop their careers. You can find him on , Twitter & LinkedIn.