News release

SRA improves access to information as it launches new online database

We have launched a searchable, online law firm database as a first step to improving access to information about the 10,000 plus law firms we regulate.

Law firm search allows anyone wanting to use a law firm to check whether it is authorised by us. The service provides limited firm data, such as contact details, but does not include disciplinary or service information.

We are embracing the Government's Public Data Principles by making information on the firms we regulate freely available to all re-publishers, for example comparison websites.

Paul Philip, our Chief Executive, said: "We know that consumers look to regulators for authoritative and reliable information. Open data is not just about transparency and availability—above all, the information we provide has to be useful.

"We want to help people to make informed decisions when buying legal services. This first step makes our basic data freely available but we are looking at how best to open up access to more information."

The data is updated daily and is free to access, re-publish and share. Prior to this service, we provided data directly to comparison websites that met the criteria set by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

A web service for data re-users is scheduled to be launched in April.

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