The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) has recently published rules requiring UK solicitors to publish their prices.
On 14 June 2018 the SRA announced the outcome of its consultation “Looking to the future: Better information, more choice”, which took place in late 2017. The SRA has decided to proceed with many of its proposals, which were supported by consumer interest groups, the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the LSB.
The key changes announced include:
–Firms’ website information – from December 2018
• Firms must publish price and service information on their websites, in the following areas of law:
o individual customers: residential conveyancing, probate, immigration (except asylum), road traffic offences, and employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal)
o business customers: employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal), debt recovery (up to £100,000), and licensing applications for business premises.
• Publication rules are not aimed at requiring firms to adopt certain pricing models: they focus on being transparent about the basis on which services are priced and giving clients a good upfront indication of the cost of services.
• All firms must publish regulatory- and complaint-related information on their websites.
• Where a firm does not have a website, it must make information available on request.
• The rules are minimum requirements and firms may add further information if they wish.
We would welcome the same rules here in Ireland. It’s only right and proper that clients have an idea of what a service is going to cost as early as possible. Of course, law matters are not always straightforward but indicative prices should be given.
Here at Holland Condon Solicitors, we’ve been displaying a price list in our waiting room since 2009.