Law Society Rejects LSCP Fee Information Proposal
The Law Society has rejected a call from the Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) for measures to force law firms to publish the average cost of services. The LSCP proposal, one of a number put forward recently calling for changes to the ways in which consumers are able to choose their solicitors, has been described by the Law Society as misconceived.
Commenting on the proposal, Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon commented:
“We share the LSCP’s desire, and that of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), continuously to improve the way the legal services markets function. This is in the best interests of solicitors and the clients they serve.
‘However, the proposal there should be regulatory requirements specifying what firms should publish is misconceived. A narrow focus on price – especially average price which could be particularly misleading – is potentially damaging to clients’ ability to make informed choices. Publishing average prices in areas of work where there are multiple variables affecting the actual costs would be confusing and in many cases meaningless – the opposite of what the LSCP intends.
‘We agree the market will benefit from the provision of more useful information on both price and service quality. This should include clarity about the protections available to the clients of regulated firms that are not available to those who engage unregulated providers.
The LSCP have recently put forward a number of proposals attacking the lack of public access to solicitors calling upon the Competition and Markets Authority to address “failings in the legal services market and proposing robust remedies to tackle the lack of transparency and information deficiency especially on price and quality” and claiming that there is a “clear gap between those consumers who are confident and knowledgeable and those who are not, with the consequences being lower levels of satisfaction and trust in legal services.”