Price transparency proposals ‘encouraging’ says super regulator

Regulators’ action plans for legal practitioners to publish prices up-front provide a ‘sufficient starting point’ to meeting demands for pricing transparency in legal services, the super regulator said today.

The Legal Service Board said its assessment of plans published in response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) legal service market study suggests that regulators are ‘collaborating well to make progress on joint initiative and to develop a coherent approach’. The Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board, CILEx Regulation and the Council for Licensed Conveyancers have all published proposals over the past week.

These action plans provide a starting point from which transparency reforms can be achieved, the LSB said today. Neil Buckley, chief executive of the board, said: ’Our assessment of the action plans welcomes the collaboration between regulators and the leadership shown by individual regulators in different aspects of this agenda.’

However Buckley said that challenges remain, including finding the right mix of mandatory requirements and voluntary guidance and enabling consumers to compare the quality of legal services as well as price. He encouraged the professions, consumer groups and others to engage with regulators’ consultations.