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Law Society comment on CMA study of legal services

13 January 2016

Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon commented:

'The Law Society looks forward to working with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to build a sound evidence base for its market study on legal services.

'We know that the market for legal services is not fair as solicitors, who are heavily regulated, are having to compete with unregulated providers. Regulation is there to protect the public and we believe that for the market to work effectively regulation has to be applied equally to all providers.

'This review is a good opportunity to reduce the regulatory burden on those solicitors who are having to compete with unregulated providers. Moving away from overly burdensome regulation, that does not service the public or meet business need, by placing greater reliance on solicitors taking responsibility for and driving their own professional standards is key. There is also an opportunity to ensure that the public and businesses are informed that, if they do purchase from an unregulated provider, they will get less protection.

'Solicitors are trained, qualified, regulated, required to carry insurance and have professional standards. We will be contributing the views of solicitors, our research, our recent report on affordable legal services and our imminent 'Future of Legal Services' report to inform the study.

'Legal services provide a significant contribution to the UK economy. It is fundamental that competition across the provision of all legal services is fair if market confidence is to be maintained.'

Ends

Notes to editors

Affordable legal services report

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