Commenting on the Legal Services Board (LSB) report, Prices of Individual Consumer Legal Services, Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon said:
“We welcome the LSB’s report on the prices of legal services. The report shows that clients can choose from a broad range of options when purchasing legal services, which allows them to select the level of service they need at the right price for them.
“Solicitors work to professional standards, are regulated, have insurance and their clients have access to redress in circumstances where services do not meet the required high standard. This ensures that anyone who buys legal services from solicitos will be protected and public confidence is maintained. The same cannot be said of some other providers of legal services, which are not regulated and therefore do not provide consumers with the same level protection. We think the public should have a consistent level of protection irrespective of whether services are bought from solicitors.”
Solicitors’ expertise comes from rigorous training. They are also bound by a code of conduct which ensures they are transparent about pricing with a client before beginning work. Sometimes, fixed pricing for less complex issues may be the best pricing solution. For more complex services, such as family services, clients have more complex needs and so the price of the service they receive will be determined by their individual circumstances and the type of advice they require.
Catherine Dixon continued:
“It is important that people can make informed choices when buying legal services. In the current legal services marketplace, paradoxically solicitors - amongst the most qualified and trained - are the most regulated, while providers who may have no legal training are not regulated. The Competitions and Markets Authority is reviewing legal services. There is an opportunity for better, simpler and more cost effective regulation that ensures consistent client protection and value for money across the whole of the legal services market.”