The SRA has published its guidance on what price and service information law firms must put on their website from 6 December 2018.
The new rules were first announced in June 2018 and confirmed following Legal Services Board approval in August.
The rules establish that firms must update their website to include things such as:
- Pricing information which includes details of everything that is included in the standard services and any services you may have to pay extra for.
- Specify whether the stated price includes VAT
- If you use an online quote generator, the generator must produce a quote directly without requiring any additional contact.
- If you publish a range of costs, you need to set out the basis for your charges, including any hourly rates and the type of factors that will determine what the final price will be.
- If you offer your services in different ways and the delivery model impacts on the price, make this clear. For example, if you charge a higher fee for face-to-face services than for strictly online services.
- Typical timescales and key stages in the process for the given legal service.
- The experience and qualifications of all people carrying out work and those supervising.
- The number of years post-qualification experience
- Estimated number of cases they have dealt with in given areas
- Percentage of time spent on given areas
- Complexity or type of issues they typically deal with
The purpose of the new Transparency Rules is to ensure consumers have all the information they require to make an informed choice of legal service provider and how much it is likely to cost.
The services that these new rules will apply to are as follows:
For members of the public
- Residential conveyancing (Freehold sale or purchase, leasehold sale or purchase, mortgages and re-mortgages)
- Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)
- Motoring offences (summary only offences)
- Employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)
- Immigration (excluding asylum applications)
- Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
- Employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)
- Licensing applications for business premises (new applications or varying existing licenses)
Paul Phillips, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Publishing information on price, services and protections will not only benefit the public, but will also help those deliver these services win business and connect with their customers. We are providing guidance and support for firms to assist with meeting the new requirements and making the most of the opportunities they bring.”
Hawsons is one of the few accountancy practices with a dedicated team of solicitor accountants specialising exclusively in the needs of solicitors and legal professionals. Click here for your free initial meeting.