A “troubling inequality” between BAME and White British consumers in the way they access legal services has changed little in the five years since it raised the issue, the consumer panel has found.
Consumers of legal services are more likely to shop around and to make a formal complaint if they do not get what they want than in previous years, new research has found.
Legal regulators should allow unregulated firms to test their ideas in regulatory sandboxes set up to foster innovation, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said.
Independent websites providing impartial information on the quality of legal services providers are needed to guide people looking for a lawyer, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has argued.
The Legal Services Board is to create a standing panel of members of the public to help develop future policies – in addition to its existing consumer panel.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has attacked SRA plans to reform the Compensation Fund, saying it should instead stop draining the fund to pay for closing down law firms.
Plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to introduce a centralised test for solicitors wanting higher rights of audience have divided opinions among organisations and individual solicitors.
More use of fixed fees and an increase in the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s fining powers are among recommendations made today by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.
The Law Society and Bar Council have strongly attacked plans by the Legal Ombudsman to extend its publication of information about complaints, arguing that it would not help consumers.
Reforms to the regulation of legal services proposed by an independent review would lead to a “massively uncertain and costly system”, the president of the Law Society has said.
The Bar Standards Board has decided to stop funding Legal Choices, the consumer-facing website which until now has been collectively run and paid for by all the legal regulators.
A third of consumers are now accessing legal services online while telephone-based services are declining, new research has found. However, the proportion shopping around is still relatively low.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has criticised legal regulators’ continuing “resistance” to publishing complaints data about the lawyers they oversee.
Regulators need to monitor the development of legal technology and issue guidance to help maximise the opportunities it presents while delivering the necessary protection for consumers.
The chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel has strongly attacked the Solicitors Regulation Authority for changing its insurance requirements for freelance solicitors without giving a reason.
For the majority of Black and ethnic minority citizens in this country, legal services are still as hard to reach, as hard to choose, or as hard to trust, as they were years ago.
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that lawyers will not disappear any time soon. Still, paper will gradually disappear in favour of digital tools, investment in technology and better ways of working.