We read with interest the story ‘Start listening to feedback, SRA told’. We wholeheartedly agree with the statement, ‘There is a risk that constant regulatory change has an economic impact, as firms and solicitors adjust to and implement new requirements.’
And, ‘On a similar theme, the Law Society said it welcomed innovation, but that the SRA should distinguish between encouraging firms and solicitors to find ways to meet client needs, and the “false pursuit” of innovation that discards or dilutes client protections.’
There is an undeniable change sweeping the legal market and if not policed appropriately, it could have a detrimental effect on the consumer.
The sad truth is there will always be people who take advantage of consumers by offering a poor service for an affordable price. They exist in every industry, but spotting a cowboy law practitioner is not easy.
If the legal industry is to continue to expand through deregulation, lawyers have a duty to educate the public on the key indicators of quality, such as gaining testimonials and references on the quality of work the business offers and checking the qualifications of consultants and lawyers. Similarly, the industry needs to highlight the businesses that operate in a negative manner in the profession.
While the considerable cost benefits of an unregulated practice are undeniable, it is of paramount importance that consumers and businesses receive protection from poor-quality advice and disreputable firms. To achieve this, both legal professionals and consumers/businesses must learn to adapt to the changing face of the market.
While innovation is key to adapt to the changing world and economic environment, it is up to innovators in the profession to inform the market and pioneer new cost-effective solutions that meet the standards of those most crucial to the industry: consumers and businesses.
Gerry Harmon, Marketing director, 360 Business Law, Camberley