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ICAEW's best practice guide to price and service transparency

The development and implementation of this Best Practice Guide to Price and Service Transparency is a cornerstone of ICAEW’s consumer engagement initiative. An increase in transparency has the potential to greatly benefit ICAEW probate accredited firms and help them stand out in the legal services marketplace.

We encourage your firm to adopt the recommendations in this Guide. At this stage, these are voluntary recommendations – however please be advised that we will review the degree of uptake in autumn 2020. If the Legal Services Board considers the uptake insufficient, they may request we develop this Guide into a set of compulsory regulations.

To help you assess your firm’s take up of the recommendations, we have summarised our 2019 transparency benchmarking report.

Please read through the report to identify where your firm can improve on cost and service transparency. The report also contains a reminder of the benefits of an increase in transparency to your firm.

While the proposals in the Best Practice Guide to Price and Service Transparency are currently voluntary only, we believe that going further than obligations dictated by the ICAEW Code of Ethics and adopting the recommendations in the Guide will not only benefit the consumer, but also have the potential to greatly benefit firms as they will demonstrate the integrity and attractiveness of your firm to clients.

  • Potential clients will be encouraged to compare the transparency and quality of information given by firms. Firms that adopt the transparency requirements will have a commercial advantage over those that don’t.
  • First tier complaints from clients caused by lack of information on pricing and services at the outset of the engagement can be avoided. It could also reduce the number and cost of cases referred to the Legal Ombudsman.
  • Transparency of pricing will highlight the lower costs a multi-disciplinary firm can offer its clients.
  • It will support and encourage a culture change regarding how transparency is viewed.

Following our earlier consultation on the Guide we have now published the final version.