The ICAEW Probate Action Plan to deliver greater transparency in the legal services market was published Q1 2018. As a legal services regulator, ICAEW is required to develop this plan in response to recommendations made by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in its report (published 15.12.16) on a study of the legal services market.
The CMA report concludes:
The legal services market is not working well for individual consumers and small businesses. Consumers find it hard to make informed choices because there is very little transparency about price, service and quality. This lack of transparency weakens competition between providers and means that some consumers do not obtain legal advice when they would benefit from it.
Increasing transparency of price, service and quality is essential for consumers to get a better deal and recommends legal services regulators develop new minimum standards for disclosures of price, service, redress and regulatory status, and develop actions plans for implementing its recommendations for increasing market transparency.
We continue to work collaboratively with the other legal services regulators to develop a consistent approach to deliver the CMA’s transparency recommendations. Our Action Plan reflects and is proportionate to the size and composition of our regulated probate community and it builds on the guidance already in place under the Practice Assurance Standards.