The Legal Services Consumer Panel has published a report on consumer decision making. The research shows that consumers indicators such as length of practice and website design when making their decisions.
The Panel has called for independent information to be provided to consumers, with information including transparent costs and previous client reviews and testimonials.
Sarah Chambers, Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, said:
“There has been a patent lack of strategic direction and a sluggish pace in addressing consumers’ need for reliable, comparable quality indicators, almost four years after the Competition and Markets Authority’s findings that lack of information on price and quality hampered competition.
Legal service regulators must now respond by doing two things. Firstly, they must work towards a clear strategic goal of establishing a sector-wide framework for quality indicators. This framework should be rooted in an articulation of what good looks like for consumers. Secondly, regulators must accelerate their pace in this area. The CMA is scheduled to reassess the sector at the end of the year. If they find that little to no progress has been made on this issue, this could create a reputational risk for regulators as it might suggest that consumers are not at the heart of regulation. And of course, consumers will continue to be left without the basic information they need to choose a lawyer.”
Recently the LSCP has also joined calls for ongoing competence assessments of legal professionals, writing to the LSB to advocate for the move.