CMA gets green light to reform price transparency in legal sector

11 October, 2017

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has given the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) the green light to proceed with plans to improve price transparency in the legal sector.

It said the CMA’s proposals “represent a sufficient starting point for the necessary reforms which will increase market transparency”.

In December last year, the CMA found that there was not enough information available on price and services to help those who need legal support to always choose the best option.

It recommended a new requirement that providers display information on fees and associated costs, alongside the development of comparison sites to allow customers to compare providers in one place.

The LSB said the measures would ensure there is better information available for clients in relation to price, quality, redress, and regulation.

Commenting on the review, Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board, said: “We also highlight some areas where more work is needed by some regulators to address the challenges outlined by the CMA.

“These areas include understanding current levels of transparency, finding the right mix of mandatory requirements and voluntary guidance and enabling consumers to compare the quality of legal services as well as price.”

Rachel Merelie, Acting Executive Director for Markets and Mergers at the CMA, said: “You might not need a lawyer very often but when you do it will often be at a crucial point in your life – whether that’s buying a property, resolving a dispute or getting expert advice on financial and employment matters. So the transparency, affordability and accessibility shortcomings we have identified are a real concern.”

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