Consumer panel

Creating a ‘two-tier profession’ – Consumer panel joins opposition to SRA plan

SRA logo on brick wall

The Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Legal Ombudsman are the latest organisations to come out against the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s proposal that practising solicitors be allowed to handle unreserved legal work for the public from unregulated firms.

September 27th, 2016

Force family lawyers to offer fixed fees, consumer panel suggests

Legal Futures Conferencen

Family law specialists should be required to work under fixed fees, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has suggested as it ramped up its call for regulatory intervention to improve transparency in the market. It said family law was one area where it advised that regulators “should now consider mandating fixed fees”.

August 24th, 2016

Making lawyers publish “average” prices will energise consumers, says panel

Elisabeth Davies 2014

The Legal Services Consumer Panel said last week that it was “not blind to the challenges of increased price transparency”, but insisted that making lawyers publish “average” prices could be the catalyst for making consumers ask more questions about cost.

July 25th, 2016

Use of fixed fees continues to rise but consumers still struggling to choose lawyer, survey finds

Elisabeth Davies 2014

Nearly half of consumer legal services are provided on a fixed-fee basis, new research has found – but it said consumers are still being hampered by a lack of information to help them choose the right lawyer, leading to “lower levels of satisfaction and trust in legal services”.

July 19th, 2016

Making law firms publish average prices “is not perfect but it is needed”

Legal Futures Conferencen

The slow pace of change in the legal services market means “regulatory intervention” is needed to force firms to publish their average prices even though it is not a perfect solution, the voice of legal consumers has said. The Legal Services Consumer Panel said this could also counter negative perceptions of lawyers.

July 12th, 2016

CMA report reignites regulatory independence row

Chantal-Aimée Doerries

Friday’s Competition and Markets Authority report on legal services has reignited the debate over independent regulation, with both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board welcoming the call for separation from their representative bodies.

July 11th, 2016

Consumer panel renews push to force law firms to publish prices and complaints records

Legal Futures Conferencen

Making law firms publish details of complaints and average prices on their websites will significantly improve the legal market for clients, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has argued. Its newly published annual report renews the panel’s push for open data, even though the Legal Services Board recently cast doubt on some of its key recommendations.

June 29th, 2016

Consumer panel: call in paralegals to meet demand for family advice

Elisabeth Davies 2014

Law firms should offer “paralegal services” to cut the cost of advice on family matters, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has suggested. In a report for the Legal Services Board, the panel also called for greater use of unbundling and fixed fees.

May 20th, 2016

Client-care letters in the spotlight as LSB urges lawyers to use plainer English

Neil Buckley

Greater prescription of how client-care letters are framed could follow a Legal Services Board report yesterday that said “inaccessible language” used by lawyers prevents consumers from accessing legal services. It said other sectors have developed guides, logos and customer information which made buying services less daunting.

April 1st, 2016

Law firms should be forced to publish details of complaints and prices, consumer panel says

Elisabeth Davies 2014

Law firms should be required by their regulators to publish details of complaints and average prices on their websites, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said. The panel also called for the publication of firms’ litigation outcomes and success rates.

February 2nd, 2016