The Legal Services Board have now approved proposed new rules by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority which require law firms offering certain service to publish their fees online. Those who offer probate, motoring offences, immigration, debt recovery of amounts up to £100,000, and employment tribunals will have to implement these rules in December this year.
The published fee information must also include details of disbursements, and whether they may be subject to VAT; and details of what is included in the services such as “key stages of the matter and likely timescales for each stage”. The fee information must be displayed in a “prominent place” on the website, and the information must be “clear and accessible”.
The action on transparency follows on from the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendation in 2016.
This comes at a time when the Annual Tracker survey from the Legal Services’ Consumer Panel found that more legal consumers are choosing fixed fee services over the traditional hourly rate more than ever before. The Survey also highlights the need for consumers to “shop around” and compare fees. Previously consumers had found it very difficult to compare transparent fees because of the lack of available pricing information on solicitors’ websites. Now that solicitors now are obliged to publish their fee structures, this new era of fee transparency can only be good news for legal consumers.
The Oratto Probate Costs Calculator is playing a major part towards transparent pricing and comparison, and we welcome more transparency for consumers that will enable them to make informed choices about which legal services provider they engage.
Contact Oratto on 0845 3883765 to speak with an adviser or use our contact form to arrange a call-back.