News

Publish information about your firm

As well as helping maintain trust in high professional standards, we want to help increase access to justice.

The majority of the public and small businesses do not use a regulated lawyer when they have a legal need. The evidence shows that a lack of information about what help is available is a key barrier to using the quality services offered by solicitor firms.

The Competition and Markets Authority’s review of the legal sector, published last year, made it clear that poor information on prices and services was a problem. Our Better Information project aims to address that. We proposed making information on price, protections and services more easily available to help people find the services they need.

We engaged with more than 21,000 members of the public and profession on our proposals. These have now been finalised. Better information will not only help the public, but also provide opportunities for firms to promote their individual offer and the extra customer protections one gets using a regulated law firm.

Key measures include:

 

  • From December 2018, all regulated law firms will be required to publish information on prices they charge, and what these cover, across a number of common services:
  • For members of the public: conveyancing, probate, motoring offences, employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and immigration (excluding asylum).
  • For small businesses: debt recovery (up to £100k), employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and licensing applications for business premises.
  • We will develop a new searchable register providing information on all solicitors and regulated law firms in England and Wales, making it easier for people and business to check that a firm or solicitor is regulated. We will develop a digital badge scheme for regulated firms to display so that people can be clear about the public protections provided for customers. Our wider regulatory reform introduces new rules requiring those working outside regulated law firms - or on a freelance basis - to proactively provide clients with information on the regulatory protections and insurance arrangements that apply to them.

 

Following feedback, we no longer plan to publish details of client complaints to law firms. This is based on concerns that without appropriate context, complaints data could be difficult to understand. We will however carry out research on the key themes arising in complaints to firms and publish our findings.

We have also published the findings of our latest Better Information research report, produced by Economic Insight.

This found:

 

  • The majority of people (85 percent) want information about legal services providers to be more readily available, especially in relation to price, quality and protections.
  • People would be more confident when buying services from a website with a ‘regulated by the SRA’ badge.
  • Protections and price are both important factors when buying legal services, and people do not necessarily simply want the cheapest option.

 

This research can be found here:

Go to the research

The Better Information reforms will be submitted to the Legal Services Board for formal approval over the coming months. Subject to this, the changes are expected to be implemented on a phased basis from the end of 2018 onwards.

Further information on Looking to the future is available here:

Go to the Looking to the future page

Further information on our Better Information consultation is here:

Go to the consultation

 
Print page to PDF