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A new website has been set up by Lexoo, the UK-USA Legal Price Index, (https://www.lexoo.co.uk/uk-usa-legal-price-index), which gives the prices of various different types of legal work. It also enables consumers to obtain free quotes from lawyers on its database, which it has sourced for being ‘great and … working on a low-overhead basis’.
Based on a US model, it follows increasing concern about lack of transparency over pricing and recent research by the Legal Services Board, which indicated that only approximately 17% of firms display their fees on their websites. Those who display such information are apparently generally cheaper than those that do not.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel believes regulatory intervention is needed to force firms to publish information about the average cost of their legal services, to enable consumers to make an informed choice when instructing a legal adviser. It believes this would also improve negative perceptions of solicitors and would reduce the number of complaints to the Legal Ombudsman relating to costs.
An interim report published in July by the Competition and Markets Authority has also highlighted that lack of pricing transparency is counter-productive to competition within the legal sector.
Regulation in this area is starting to look increasingly likely. With the perception being that legal services are likely to be more expensive if they are not published on a practice’s website, it may be worth reviewing your policy if you are not currently transparent in this respect, although clearly you should also outline any assumptions on which a quote is based.
Client Relationship Manager
T: 0845 056 3949
M: 0743 727 4046
The Law Society has issued a practice note about the risks to solicitors posed by this new legislation, which came into force on 30 September.
The SRA has urged all practices to check HM Treasury’s consolidated list of asset freeze targets, which lists designated persons subject to financial sanction under EU or UK legislation.
The practising certificate renewal period opened on Monday 2 October.
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