The Competition & Markets Authority has begun a review of progress on achieving transparency of price, quality and service in the legal services sector in England & Wales.
Over the next three months the CMA intends to carry out "a short, focused review" of the extent to which recommendations it made in 2016 have been taken forward and the impact these changes have had on competition.
Four years ago, after a market study into the supply of legal services in England & Wales, the CMA concluded that competition for individual consumers and small businesses was not working well. In particular, there was not enough information available on price, quality and service to help those who need legal support choose the best option. Consumers were faced with wide variations in the cost of similar services, and sometimes a struggle to find enough information to help them identify their legal need in the first place.
Legal firms have since been required to publish more information about fees charged, and regulators have sought to improve transparency by legal firms on price, quality and service. Further recommendations were made to the Ministry of Justice to consider whether consumers of unregulated services needed stronger protections.
The present review will help the CMA examine whether further measures are necessary to increase consumer engagement and help drive increased competition. It will look at existing evidence from regulatory monitoring and other available research, as well as submissions from interested parties.
Click here for further information, including the call for evidence. Responses are requested by 30 September 2020.