New pricing transparency rules for solicitors – are you complying?
Thursday, 11 July 2019
New rules on pricing transparency for solicitors came into force on 6 December 2018. The rules require solicitors to publish their pricing and service information on their websites about certain legal services. For an introduction, see Richard’s blog here.
The rules also require that all solicitor firms (who have a website) publish details of their complaints procedure.
In April 2019, the SRA undertook random website checks to see if solicitor firms were complying.
Of the 447 sites reviewed, it was found that overall:
- 25% were fully complying
- 58% were partially complying
- 17% were not complying at all
The main areas of non-compliance were for not including:
- The complaints procedure
- A description of the costs and disbursements
- Details regarding the VAT on costs and disbursements
- Information about the key stages of the service
Below are some pointers on how to comply with the areas where firms are commonly struggling. The SRA have also issued some guidance notes about the transparency rules which may be useful and can be found here.
- You must include information about your firm’s complaints procedure.
- As well as publishing the typical cost of the service, you must include the basis on how you charge (e.g. hourly rate).
- Remember to include the costs of disbursements, if it is likely they will be incurred.
- You must state which costs and disbursements attract VAT and the applicable rate of VAT.
- You must include details of the experience and qualifications of the people conducting the work. You are not required to name individual staff members.
- Pricing information must be readily located on your website.
If you are worried that your firm is not complying and need guidance to meet the requirements of the transparency rules, we can help.
Contact our Legal team on 0330 024 0888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org