10 Jul 2017

Plans published to make it easier to shop around for legal services

Legal services regulators have published plans to help people shop around more effectively for representation in response to the CMA's market study.

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) spent a year conducting a market study of the industry and found that there was not enough information available on price, quality and service to help those in need of legal support choose the best option. The CMA has since been working with the Legal Services Board and eight frontline regulators in England and Wales to drive the implementation of changes recommended by the study. Now they have published their action plans for implementing our recommendations.

Representation

Each regulator represents a different profession or area of the market (for example, solicitors, accountants, licensed conveyancers) and these regulators, the CMA and the Legal Services Board have been coordinating their plans for implementing the CMAs recommendations.  The CMA’s recommendations were designed specifically to improve transparency from legal firms on price, quality and service and enable customers to navigate the market more easily and get value for money.

Recommendations

The CMA has recommended that the regulators revise their regulatory requirements to ensure that companies offering legal services display information on price, service and conditions of redress openly on their websites and in their publicity material.

Promote Legal Choices website

It has also sugegsted that the regulators improve and promote the existing Legal Choices website so that it becomes a starting point for customers needing help to navigate the market and purchase services and make more regulatory data available to facilitate the development of reliable comparison sites.

Engage with feedback

It also recommended that the regulators encourage legal services providers to engage with feedback and review platforms to ensure that customers can benefit from the experience of previous consumers before making their choice.

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