New transparency rules, requiring regulated firms to publish price and service information on their websites, are to come into effect on 6 December 2018.
This is also the date by which firms must make information on their complaints procedures available online, and from which they will be able to download and begin using the new SRA digital badge.
Providing website visitors with personalised information confirming that a firm is regulated and outlining the protections this brings, the badge is expected to become a mandatory requirement during Spring 2019.
December’s implementation of the transparency rules was first announced in June 2018, and further confirmed following Legal Services Board approval of the rules in August.
Under the rules, all regulated law firms will be required, from 6 December, to proactively publish information on prices they charge and what these include, across a number of common services:
- For members of the public: conveyancing, probate, motoring offences, employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and immigration (excluding asylum).
- For businesses: debt recovery (up to £100k), employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal) and licensing applications for business premises.
Detailed guidance, designed to help firms in understanding and preparing for the new requirements was issued in October, and has now been further updated to include templates for publishing complaints procedures.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Publishing information on price, services and protections will not only benefit the public, but will also help law firms win new business. Research shows that people struggle to find clear information about the services firms offer and think using a solicitor is more expensive than it actually is.
“We are providing guidance and support for firms to help them meet the new requirements and make the most of the opportunities they bring.”
To view more information on the transparency rules, including the recently published guidance go to: www.sra.org.uk/transparency