CMA recognises progress in the regulated legal services market

The solicitor profession has made great advances in transparency, but risk of consumer harm continues in the unregulated sector, the Law Society of England and Wales said today, echoing findings of the Competition and Markets Authority review into legal services.

“We’ve had very constructive engagement with the CMA during this review, they have clearly listened to us and recognise the progress made by law firms,” said Law Society president David Greene.

“The solicitor profession has made significant strides in providing more information for clients on their prices and services and we are pleased to see the CMA recognises this. Kite marks provide further useful indicators on solicitor expertise in specific areas of law."

“Given the pivotal role of the rule of law in the economy and the whole of society, any further reforms should not only focus on competition outcomes, but also on the public interest, the rule of law, access to justice, and an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession – all of which are regulatory objectives under the Legal Services Act."

“Competition plays an important part in driving down costs, but there are few winners in a race to the bottom where low cost may be offset by consumer harm."

“With regard to unregulated legal service providers, consumers undoubtedly are at greater risk without the regulatory protections and robust professional indemnity insurance provided by solicitors."

“A review of the unregulated sector could identify high risk areas and specific harms to inform the development of workable and effective regulatory interventions. The current legal regulatory framework is sufficiently flexible for improvements to be made where there is evidence of consumer harm, including through regulation.”

Notes to editors

Read the Competition and Markets Authority statement

Read our summary of the review of the legal services market study

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | 0208 049 3854