The Solicitors Regulation Authority has recently found that compliance with its transparency rules remains unacceptably low and has been using its enforcement powers to punish non-compliant firms; in January 2021 alone nine firms were either rebuked or fined for not complying with their obligations.
What are the SRA Price Transparency Rules?
Law firms offering prescribed legal services must publish costs information relating to these services on their website. These services are:
- Conveyancing (residential)
- Probate (uncontested)
- Motoring offences (summary offences)
- Immigration (excluding asylum)
- Employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal)
- Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
- Licensing applications (business premises)
This costs information must be clear and easy to understand, providing a total cost or an average range of costs, along with an explanation of the basis of the charges (hourly rate, fixed fees, etc.), any highly likely disbursements and their costs, and whether VAT is included.
All of these costs must be laid out clearly and there must be no hidden extras not included in these costs.
What Service Information should be included to meet SRA Price Transparency Rules?
You’ll need to explain what services are included for the quoted price, highlighting any services not included that the client might reasonably expect to be included. You should also include information on key stages and typical timescales, whilst also publishing the qualifications and experience of anyone carrying out the work and of their supervisors.
Join us in our free one hour webinar on Thursday 25th February for a reminder of the SRA Transparency Rules and requirements, along with insights into how to address some key areas of concerns, for example, use of online quote systems and displaying the SRA digital logo in our free one hour webinar.