The Law Society of England and Wales has warned law firms to prepare and plan ahead for this year’s deadline to publish price and service information.
From December, all law firms are required to publish price and service information on their websites for a variety of consumer and business-based services.
This includes residential conveyancing, probate, immigration (except asylum), road traffic offences and employment tribunal claims (unfair and wrongful dismissal) for personal clients, debt recovery (up to £100,000) and licensing applications for business premises for business customers.
Law firms should also pay attention to the level of detail required. In general, solicitors will need to show the total cost of services (or average, if applicable), the basis of charges, services included in the price for key stages, and any likely costs that will be incurred (such as VAT).
The published details must also include the experience and qualifications of the solicitor(s) carrying out the work.
The new rules follow recent research which suggests that 85 per cent of customers want information on price, protections and quality of service before choosing a legal services provider.
Commenting on the upcoming changes, Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said firms will be required to act quickly in order to adapt.
“These new rules will provide opportunities as well as initial burdens,” she said.
“Clients are likely to change gradually the way they search for, assess and engage the services offered by solicitors’ firms.
“Having the right information at the right time will help clients make informed choices about how they solve their legal problems. They will be able to balance considerations, not just price but also other important factors such as service quality and client protections.”
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