LSB pushes on towards greater price transparency for legal profession
The LSB has placed further pressure on the SRA to expand price transparency measures in its consultation - "Draft statement of policy on
empowering consumers – consultation paper "
The LSB notes in its executive summary that :
Although there have been some positive market developments and new
regulatory arrangements since 2016, it is clear that further action is needed from
the regulators to deliver real change in outcomes for consumers. There is fresh
impetus following the CMA’s latest review and we intend to capitalise on this to
achieve those outcomes.
The Consultation runs until 8th December 2021 and key proposals to be determined by the regulator include
- A system of public education so that the consumer understands pricing models and choices
- Greater information on pricing including seperation of Vat and explanation of disbursements such as Counsel fees
- The possibility of more transparent information in family cases
- Information about quality including Legal Ombudsman histories and any SRA sanctions
- Other measures such as success rates , feedback and reviews which feeds into the SRA ongoing work on online reviews
- the LSB considers consumer feedback is a pivotal measure of performance
- The LSB notes that online reviews can give smaller firms an ability to comepte with larger providers
- Further requirements as to what websites should display , which brings a likely scenario of increased enforcement over non-compliance
- Increasing a central register of information made available to consumers
Overall there is no doubt that online reviews are going to be a central feature of how performance is measured along with a requirement to expand transparency and communicate that information in a clear way .
It seems only those firms who are able to adapt to the consumer led online world are likely to prosper in this post covid world .