CILEx Regulation says its firms will deliver much-needed consumer information
29 September 2017
CILEx Regulation is pleased to announce the opening of its consultation on bold new measures to make the legal services market more consumer friendly for individuals and small businesses.
Consumers choosing goods or services can easily find information on price and quality, shop around for different packages and compare on-line reviews. For legal services, this kind of information is rarely available at the point individuals realise they have a legal need. Where do consumers look to help them understand and compare the services on offer, how much they will cost and which type of provider can help?
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reported in 2016 on how the market in legal services is working. They looked at different areas of law, especially wills and probate, employment and commercial. They believe the market is not working as well as it could. Their report was published on 15 December 2016. This consultation forms a key plank of CILEx Regulation’s response.
In future CILEx Regulation will expect the law firms it regulates to publish information on:
- price including the charging model, such as fixed fee, and any additional costs;
- service, including a description of the work included in the price, and how long it will take;
- consumer redress, including complaints procedures and the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman; and
- how the firm is regulated, including professional indemnity cover and availability of CILEx Regulation’s compensation arrangements.
Initially, the regulator plans that firms doing conveyancing and/or wills will publish this information, usually on their website.
Sam Younger, Chair of CILEx Regulation, said:
“The interests of consumers are at the heart of our work. We recognise the CMA findings that the legal services market is not working as well as it could for consumers.
Delivering the CMA recommendations is a strategic aim for us. We will support our regulated firms in meeting requirements that they publish choice-making information, at the point consumers need it.
This consultation will be key to helping us understand the views of our firms, consumers and other stakeholders, as we develop our approach.”
You can read the consultation here and respond online.
The consultation runs for 12 weeks, closing at 5pm on 21 December 2017.
Notes to editors
- CILEx Regulation regulates Chartered Legal Executive lawyers, other members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and law firms.
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the professional association which represents 20,000 Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals and legal professionals.
- CILEx Regulation oversees the education, qualification and practice standards of the legal professionals it regulates and works with the Chartered Institute to ensure that qualifications are at the right level and appropriate to the work that regulated members do.
- CILEx Regulation aims to ensure that regulated members are fully aware of their obligations to consumers, colleagues, the courts and the public, and that they maintain proper standards of professional conduct. When necessary, CILEx Regulation deals with complaints against regulated individuals and firms.
- CILEx Regulation embodies the principle that professional representative bodies, like the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, should separate their regulatory and leadership functions so that consumers and the public can have confidence in the independent regulation of legal services providers.