SLCC endorses Law Society’s recommendation for law firms to makes costs transparent
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) has submitted its response to the Law Society of Scotland’s consultation on price transparency.
The response recommends that price transparency should be the default. It also recommends that the Law Society promotes a standardised format for website and offline pricing information. This should include:
- Pricing type (e.g. fixed fee, hourly rate, mixed);
- Rate or fee;
- Which staff carry out which work and what level of qualification they have; and
- Regulatory protection information with links, including to the SLCC
The response also suggests that firms should no longer be able to charge clients for a detailed breakdown of fees.
Chief executive Neil Stevenson said: “We commend the Law Society for consulting on this issue. We have already commented publicly on price transparency in our #ReimagineRegulation work on legislative change. We believe that there is a fantastic opportunity for the legal sector in helping consumers make an informed choice.
“Lack of awareness around fees is a common area of complaints to us and providing clearer information upfront could help reduce the number of complaints, saving everyone time. However, we know that giving pricing information upfront might be regarded as an imposition by smaller firms in particular. Therefore, we’ve recommended that the Law Society give a standard format and guidance to help.
“As regulation adapts to the digital age we suggest it may be worth considering other information which firms should display on their websites. Publishing the firm’s complaints process would bring law firms in line with other professions and sectors.”
The SLCC’s response is available here.