Solicitors asked to open up about fee transparency

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Jul 28, 2017
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Paul Philip, chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, said he wanted clearer fees to to open up and diversify the legal market

John Hipkiss

Regulators have launched a consultation with solicitors over controversial proposals to force law firms to be more transparent about their charging policies.

The profession’s watchdog agrees with the competition authorities that law firms need to be more open with the public about their fees. In its three-year strategy, published yesterday, the Solicitors Regulation Authority said that it wanted to hear the views of law firms on its plans to “increase the availability of relevant and timely information to help people make informed choices in the legal services market”.

Paul Philip, the authority’s chief executive, said the regulator wanted “to do more to create a diverse, open and modern legal market – a market that provides accessible, affordable services and allows solicitors and law firms to thrive”.

The consultation was launched in the same week that the watchdog announced improved performance figures, revealing that the average time taken to authorise a firm had fallen by around 35 per cent to an average of 24 days. The authority also said that the time taken to assess and investigate new complaints had dropped by 33 per cent over three years to an average of 80 days.

The SRA consultation on fee transparency will run until September 21.

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