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New regulations come in today: Price transparency for clients

6th December 2018

The new price transparency rules come into play today which require law firms to publish their price and service information for consumers and small businesses.

Firms have to publish the total/average cost of services; the basis of the charges made; the services included in the price; any likely costs incurred and VAT; and the experience and qualifications of the person carrying out the work.

On the firm's website information must be published about:
  • for individual customers: residential conveyancing, probate, immigration (except asylum), road traffic offences, and employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal
  • for business customers: employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal), debt recovery (up to £100,000), and licensing applications for business premises
If the firm does not have a website, they must ensure the information  is available on request. 
What are the consequences of these changes?
It is likely that clients may change the way they assess and choose their legal services.
However, choosing a lawyer solely on costs is not to be advised.
What is important is that clients are able to make informed decisions. It is still important to consider the lawyers capabilities. These changes help provide important and relevant information about price, which should be a key factor when choosing a service as it allows the client to assess whether it is value for money.
See the SRA guidance for law firms here: https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/press/transparency-rules-2018.page