CMA Report recognises solicitor progress in the regulated legal services market – but calls for more work to be done and measures to monitor unregulated providers

The Competition and Markets Authority has published its report on regulation and market transparency recognising the considerable progress made by the Profession .

The Law Society noted that : The solicitor profession has made great advances in transparency, but risk of consumer harm continues in the unregulated sector, the Law Society of England and Wales said today, echoing findings of the Competition and Markets Authority review into legal services.

 

“We’ve had very constructive engagement with the CMA during this review, they have clearly listened to us and recognise the progress made by law firms,” said Law Society president David Greene.

 

“The solicitor profession has made significant strides in providing more information for clients on their prices and services and we are pleased to see the CMA recognises this. Kite marks provide further useful indicators on solicitor expertise in specific areas of law.

 

“Given the pivotal role of the rule of law in the economy and the whole of society, any further reforms should not only focus on competition outcomes, but also on the public interest, the rule of law, access to justice, and an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession – all of which are regulatory objectives under the Legal Services Act.

 

“Competition plays an important part in driving down costs, but there are few winners in a race to the bottom where low cost may be offset by consumer harm.

 

“With regard to unregulated legal service providers, consumers undoubtedly are at greater risk without the regulatory protections and robust professional indemnity insurance provided by solicitors.

 

“A review of the unregulated sector could identify high risk areas and specific harms to inform the development of workable and effective regulatory interventions. The current legal regulatory framework is sufficiently flexible for improvements to be made where there is evidence of consumer harm, including through regulation.”

The Report can be accessed here :

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-publishes-review-of-progress-in-legal-services-sector

The Reccomendations include an expansion of price transparency and quality information  together with measures to monitor the work of unregulated providers .

The Law Society will be considering next steps and if you have any views do let your Council Members in Yorkshire know

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