The Solicitors Regulation Authority, or SRA, published new transparency rules in December last year.
Under these rules, regulated law firms are required to publish price and service information on their websites.
Legal firms should have already made this information available for a number of their services.
The public services for which price and service information is available are conveyancing, probate, motoring offences, employment tribunals and immigration (excluding asylum).
Additionally, there are business services for which price and service information are required to be published.
These include debt recovery for up to £100k, employment tribunals and licensing applications for business premises.
The chief executive of the SRA says that the new regulations will benefit customers and businesses alike by strengthening the connection between the two. Law practices are required to publish not only costs, but the basis of charges, key stages of the process, rough timeframes, possible disbursements and whether they include VAT, and experience and qualification details of anyone who will be carrying out work. This transparency opens up a new chapter for the legal profession, which up until now were not required to disclose any of the above information.
AWH Solicitors in Manchester welcome the new SRA rules, seeing it as a positive advancement in the legal sector.
They emphasise this, saying:
“We believe that transparency is at the core of building successful relationships with our clients. We hope that the new rules will help them feel 100 percent informed and involved throughout their time with us.”
The price transparency requirements have brought about concerns from other legal professionals, with some worrying that potential clients will use law firm’s prices to bargain their way to a cheaper deal.
AWH Solicitors believe that this is a minute issue in comparison to the benefits:
“There may be people who attempt to bargain, but this is not and never has been the way in which legal services are provided. Legal service fees are set for a reason, and we believe that the fact that firms are being open in displaying them will have a positive impact on their ability to connect with clients.”
"We believe that transparency is at the core of building successful relationships with our clients. We hope that the new rules will help them feel 100 percent informed and involved"
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