27.04.18

No secrets: The importance of transparent consumer information

Consumers need information about price, service, how to complain and regulatory protections so they can make informed decisions when choosing a legal firm. We recognise the lack of provision of this information by legal firms and we have now published what we will require of our firms to improve transparency for consumers.

Consumers need information about price, service, how to complain and regulatory protections so they can make informed decisions when choosing a legal firm. We recognise the lack of provision of this information by legal firms.

Following the recommendations of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to increase transparency of information for consumers, we consulted, between September and December 2017, on how we should implement these recommendations. We have now published the consultation responses together with our response and decisions about our requirements of our firms to improve transparency for consumers.

In response to the consultation responses we will:

  1. Develop high level Rules governing transparency for consumers on price, service, and redress, with supporting guidance on possible templates with some key information (guidance not to be a regulatory arrangement);
  2. Initially roll out these requirements to firms providing residential conveyancing and/or probate;
  3. Require, through these Rules, that regulated firms display on their website, or make available at their premises, if no website available:
    • full price, including what services are included in that price;
    • information about what services the firm offers;
    • professional indemnity insurance and compensation arrangements information;
    • information about the complaints procedure and the Legal Ombudsman;
    • digital smart logos, which will include website and verification of regulation by CILEx Regulation plus confirmation that professional indemnity insurance and compensation arrangements are available.

Timescale

  1. We aim to introduce these transparency Rules, with guidance, in January 2019.

You can find out more about the CMA legal services market study and our work in response to the CMA’s recommendations here.


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