The Legal Services Board (LSB) has published a statutory statement of policy on empowering consumers to better access information about the service and quality of legal services providers. Developed following a consultation and engagement with legal services regulators and others across the sector, the statement outlines how the regulators should ensure that individuals and small businesses who need legal advice have the information they need to shop around and choose the provider most suited to their legal needs.
With the published statement, the LSB has set expectations for regulators to ensure legal services providers offer useful information to consumers about the cost and quality of their services and on redress and regulation.
Findings from the 2020 Individual Legal Needs Survey suggested that 3.6 million people in England and Wales had an unmet legal need involving a dispute each year. Findings from the 2021 Small Business Legal Needs Survey suggested that only a quarter of small businesses obtain professional help to deal with legal issues, while half try to handle them alone or take no action at all.
The statement sets out actions for regulators to implement effective programmes of activity to support public legal education, focusing on activities that support people to understand when they have a legal problem and how to access the professional help they need to resolve it. This includes, for example, contributing to cross-sector initiatives like the Legal Choices website to increase public understanding of citizen’s legal rights and duties.