The Law Society of Scotland has published guidance on pricing for solicitors, aimed to improve consumer understanding of the cost of legal services. The guidance encourages firms to publish indicative pricing up-front, allowing consumers to gain a broad overview of price comparison before they contact a solicitor. The guidance will come into effect on 1 April 2020 and will not apply to practitioners solely engaged in legal aid work, or firms that exclusively provide services to businesses.
Craig Cathcart, Convener of the Law Society of Scotland Regulatory Committee, said: “The guidance has been developed to improve price transparency for legal services and encourage solicitors to proactively publish information to help consumers in Scotland make better-informed choices. Whether someone is thinking of buying a new home, wants to make a will or set up a power of attorney, or they may have separated from a partner or have an employment problem, we hope members of the public will be able to get a better idea of the typical costs involved in such cases early on. As well as increasing clarity for consumers, this can help improve access to justice.”
The guidance will take into account the difficulty in creating a ‘one size fits all’ approach and will give firms the option to publish average or typical costs for cases or alternatively fixed fees for specific services such as residential property sales or certain types of divorce proceedings.
Further commentary from the Law Society is available here.
The full guidance is available here.