More firms sanctioned in transparency rules clampdown
21 January 2021
Three more firms have been disciplined for breaches of the transparency rules as we continue to clamp down on non-compliance.
This brings the total of firms who have been sanctioned to nine since the start of the year.
The rules are designed to help people find the information they need to make informed decisions about services available to them. Introduced in December 2018, the rules mean that firms with a website should publish basic, indicative information about the price of certain services, details about who might carry out the work, and avenues for complaint. They also should also display our clickable logo, which was made mandatory in December 2019, to help explain the protections the public gets from using a regulated law firm.
We are regularly checking law firms' websites. We warn those who are falling short that they need to improve, while offering a reminder of the support available to help firms comply.
Our research has shown that since the rules were introduced, more potential clients believe solicitors are affordable, and firms would recommend the business benefits that greater transparency about prices bring. The continued Covid-19 lockdown has also made it even more vital that firms have a useful online presence as consumers use the internet to shop for services from home.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: 'People need good information to make good choices. Our rules mean that firms must publish detail on price and service for key areas of legal work, and on the protections available for consumers, helping people to find the help they need.'
'We have provided support for firms to get this right and we will continue to do so. However, I want to be clear that where firms are not providing the type of information that the public expect and our rules mandate, we will take enforcement action.
'We will continue to check that firms are complying throughout the year.'
The firms whose sanctions were published today received a rebuke, a fine of £1,000 and a fine of £2,000, mirroring the action taken against other firms and published last week. The most recent decisions we have taken against firms is available on our website.