Davies: need to build public trust

Two comparison websites have become the latest to sign up to the groundbreaking good practice standards pioneered by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

Homebuyer Conveyancing and Access Solicitor are only the sixth and seventh websites to have self-assessed themselves as compliant with the standards.

These deal with issues such as accessibility, accuracy of information, and use of personal information.

The panel does not assess or monitor compliance itself, relying on consumers to alert it to any breaches of the standards.

The sites join Contact Law, Really Moving, Checkaprofessional, Solicitor.info and Compare Legal Costs as having self-assessed their compliance.

Duncan Pattinson, director of We Help You Too, which manages Homebuyer Conveyancing, said: “In business the only way to stay ahead is to continuously improve. We Help You Too has developed a conveyancing website that encourages client feedback. This provides a customer experience that simplifies what is seen by many to be complicated.

“The initiative set by the Legal Services Consumer Panel to push for self-regulation is welcome and worthwhile since it is these process standards that are often neglected by many. Promoting best practice and pushing for transparency in conveyacing quotes paves the way for consumers to make an informed choice.”

Warren Smith, founder and chief executive of Access Solicitor, said: “Client needs should be at the heart of legal services delivery and comparison websites will become an increasingly important part of that. Access Solicitor is pleased to subscribe to and support the best practice standards.”

Panel chair Elisabeth Davies added: “We are very pleased these websites have recognised the value of our standards, which help make sure consumers are treated fairly. Consumers lack confidence when using legal services, so comparison websites in this sector need to pay special attention to building public trust.”

Last month, the approved regulators agreed to publish a basic set of core regulatory information in a reusable format, which the panel said will help ‘choice tools’ like comparison sites obtain the information they need to enter the market.

Ms Davies said: “It’s really positive that tangible progress is now being made on opening up access to the professional registers. In time this will allow people choosing lawyers to benefit from the electronic market place as they already do in vast numbers when buying goods and services in other markets.”

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