News

The benefits of better information

We have published our proposals for producing better information on the high-quality services the profession provides.

We want to tackle the problem that the public and small businesses find it difficult to access the right help when they have a legal problem. The Competition and Markets Authority has found that a lack of useful information means that the sector does not work well for the public or small businesses. Most people do not shop around. And research shows that many people that using a solicitor is more expensive than the reality.

By publishing some information on prices and services included, as well as the extra protections available when using a regulated firm, we want to help the public make better legal choices. It could also help you increase your client base, and offer new ways to benchmark your firm.

Getting the balance right

In the last year, we have spoken to thousands of people and professionals to help us develop these plans. We have heard that price is important, but so is information about service and quality. We need to get the balance right.

We do not want to impose unnecessary burdens on firm, or publish information that is unhelpful or too complex. Our approach could help support a more open, competitive market where people can make good choices and firms can grow and thrive.

Detail of our plans

Our plans include a register bringing basic regulatory information on solicitors and law firms together in one place. We are proposing that law firms should publish information on prices and the services included, and suggesting that firms would only do this for certain types of work, such as conveyancing, wills or personal injury work.

We are also considering publishing data collated by firms on the complaints they receive, while recognising that this would need appropriate context to be meaningful.

Being clear on extra protections

We would also introduce an “SRA regulated” and “SRA Compensation Fund” logo so that the public can see the extra protections they get when using a fully regulated firm. Solicitors working in businesses not regulated by a legal regulator would not be able to use these logos, but would need to provide information on the client protections they do have.

We aim to not only benefit the public directly, but also indirectly by making information available to data re-publishers, such as comparison websites

Our proposals have been drawn up over the last year in conversation with law firms, representative groups and members of the public. But we still want your help to make sure we get the detail right. For instance, which areas of law best lend themselves to publishing information on price?

The consultation is open until 20 December.

Go to the consultation