The English Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) consultation Looking to the Future: better information, more choice, makes a number of proposals, including a new requirement that solicitor firms should be required to publish price and service information on their websites for certain areas of law, relating to individuals and small business customers.
In it’s response, the English Law Society stated it is important that clients can make informed decisions about the solicitors they choose, and they need to have the right information at the right time. However, clients have very different legal needs, and legal services are complex. Simply requiring more information to be published on websites is unlikely to result in people making more informed choices. Solicitors are already required to provide the best possible information on cost to their clients, and the SRA should allow the market to respond to consumer demands for information in an appropriate way.
The English Law Society commissioned independent behavioural research, carried out by London Economics and YouGov, to better understand consumer behaviour and help solicitors to provide the best information to consumers. This research shows that consumers may not read or understand all of the information that they are provided, and may overlook important factors if information is presented in the wrong way.