Legal services regulators have today published their plans to help people shop around more effectively, in response to the CMA’s market study.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) spent a year conducting a thorough review, known as 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 8 frontline regulators in England and Wales to drive the implementation of changes recommended by the study. Today they published their action plans for implementing our recommendations.
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 CMA’s 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.
The CMA 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
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
make more regulatory data available to facilitate the development of reliable comparison sites
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
The 8 frontline legal services regulators in England and Wales are:
a. Bar Standards Board (BSB) – Barristers
b. CILEx Regulation (Chartered Legal Executives and Legal Executives)
c. Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) – Licensed Conveyancers
d. Costs Lawyers Standards Board (CLSB) – Costs Lawyers
e. Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) – Trademark and Patent Attorneys
f. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – Chartered Accountants conducting probate
g. Master of the Faculties (Notaries)
h. Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) (Solicitors)