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Price and Service Transparency Survey

The CLC is seeking views on potential approaches to increasing the ability of consumers to compare the price and quality of services delivered by different legal service providers. The survey looks at:

  • Price transparency
  • The collection and publication of consumer feedback
  • The use of regulatory data

Thinking across the legal sector on these points has been moved forward by the recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has provided clear recommendations to front line regulators.

The proposals set out in this survey are simply illustrations of the spectrum of possible approaches and not concrete proposals. Views submitted to the CLC will inform our work to develop policy approaches in line with our mission to protect consumers and promote innovation and competition in the legal sector.

 

Background

CMA recommendations

The CMA made three key recommendations that are relevant to this survey. They are each intended to foster more shopping around by consumers looking for legal service providers and enhance the information that is available to help consumers make their final choice.

The recommendations are:

(a) Action to deliver a step change in standards of transparency to help consumers (i) to understand the price and service they will receive, what redress is available and the regulatory status of their provider and (ii) to compare providers.

(b) Promote the use of independent feedback platforms to help consumers to understand the quality of service offered by competing providers.

(c) To facilitate the development of a dynamic intermediary market through making data more accessible to comparison tools and other intermediaries.

Steps the CLC has already taken

Information on the regulatory status of CLC firms This is currently provided on the CLC’s website through the Find a Licensed Conveyancer function. In January 2017 we launched our Smart Badge scheme that will provide greater information and security for consumers and firms.

Information on redress for consumers CLC firms are required to signpost their clients to routes for redress.  Information is also available on our website and on the Legal Choices website. The Smart Badge scheme will provide an additional opportunity for consumers to find out more.

Regulatory Data The CLC makes available to comparison websites and others basic data about the entities we regulate. This includes business name, locations and telephone numbers, key contact details and the firm’s CLC licence number.  This helps comparison websites to establish their databases.

Information about conditions on individual and entity licences are published on the CLC website as well as the details of findings of the Adjudication Panel. Each of those has its own dedicated web page.

 

Complete the survey now

There are two versions of the survey to complete, depending on whether you are regulated by the CLC or not. 

Individuals and firms regulated by the CLC - complete this survey now

Users of legal services and other stakeholders - complete this survey now

 

Further reading  

Competition and Markets Authority Legal Services Market Study – Final report December 2016

Solicitors Regulation Authority discussion paper: Regulatory data and consumer choice in legal services – October 2016

Legal Services Consumer Panel Report: Opening up data in legal services – February 2016