Conveyancers will be required to publish their service standards and prices online it has been confirmed. The Council for Licensed Conveyancers announced today that it will ensure that firms increase the information they put in the public domain in order to improve transparency and consumer choice.
The decision comes as the Solicitors Regulation Authority ponders whether to impose similar requirements on solicitor firms after competition watchdogs highlighted what they said are gaps in public understanding about pricing in the legal sector.
The CLC, which consulted on improving consumer choice last year, will also push its firms to go beyond just the minimum requirements to differentiate themselves better. This could include publishing information on price comparison websites, although this will not be mandatory.
A further consultation on the finer details begins today and changes are expected to be made by the end of this year.
CLC chair Dame Janet Paraskeva said: ‘The firms we regulate will be facing new requirements and we expect them to be open and transparent. But we do not want to be overly prescriptive in how they can take advantage of this new era of transparency – we are looking to firms to find their own approaches which fit best with their business models and styles of service.’
The regulators’ push to increase transparency comes following the recommendations of the Competition and Markets Authority, which found consumers needed more information about pricing following a year-long study of the legal sector in 2016.