Solicitors must provide greater cost transparency to ‘vulnerable’ consumers, report suggests

9 August, 2017

New research carried out by the Legal Services Board (LSB) suggests that the majority of ‘vulnerable’ legal services consumers who have mental health conditions such as dementia would benefit from greater cost transparency.

The study, which surveyed 60 mentally ill clients and consumers found that, for the most part, such consumers received an “extremely positive” and “appropriate” service from their solicitor.

However, it found that the majority of consumers wanted their advisers to give them more information in terms of costs.

Many clients said that they would like to see services that are not only price-transparent, but also “jargon-free” to enable vulnerable clients to better understand how their solicitor can help them.

The LSB’s researchers found that many clients “felt confused about the services on offer” and “needed more time or space” to decide which steps they wanted to follow when enquiring about popular services such as Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

Commenting, Neil Buckley, chief executive at the LSB, said: “Sometimes small actions can make a big difference to consumers, particularly those who are vulnerable.

“When providers take simple practical steps this can make a big difference to the consumer experience.

“Consumers can help too, for example, by telling their lawyer if there are things they could do that would help make things easier for them.”

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