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Get involved in regulators’ work on quality indicators and service transparency
As the Legal Services Board (LSB) analyses responses to its consultation on quality indicators, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has extended its digital comparison tool (DCT) pilot. Find out how to get involved.
The SRA Transparency Rules came into force in 2018. The rules set rigorous standards for price transparency but put less focus on service quality.
In 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority’s progress review recommended that the legal regulators take steps to improve transparency of quality information.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has since sought views on the type of quality indicators that could help consumers to make decisions.
Quality indicators discussion paper
In its discussion paper, the LSB suggests creating a sector-wide quality indicator framework with three criteria:
- technical quality
- customer service
To encourage consumer engagement with quality information, the LSB supports the development of DCTs by standardising and improving access to core information held by regulators and public bodies.
The LSB is also considering an accreditation for legal services DCTs to build the trust of the public and professionals.
Consumers should be provided with information on quality, not just price.
However, it will be challenging to develop meaningful benchmarks across diverse practice areas that indicate to consumers what high-quality legal service should look like.
The regulatory system and minimum entry standards should assure consumers around the quality of legal advice.
Improving awareness of these should be a key part of any strategy on quality indicators.
Digital comparison tool pilot
The SRA is piloting online reviews and comparison schemes with law firms and DCTs to explore how to increase the amount of accessible, comparable information on quality available to the public.
70 firms and 10 DCTs have signed up to take part, including Trustpilot, Review Solicitors and Law Superstore.
To encourage firms and practitioners to engage with DCTs, the SRA shared tips on how to respond to negative or fake reviews without compromising confidentiality.
What firms can expect from the pilot
In the July issue of Legal Compliance magazine, Pearl Moses poses some questions to Tracy Vegro, executive director of strategy and innovation at the SRA, on what firms can expect in terms of comparison sites and online reviews.
The pilot was originally due to run for six months, but this has been extended to open it up to more firms.
If you’re interested in joining the pilot, email firstname.lastname@example.org.