The Law Society has urged firms to press on with meeting their transparency requirements almost a month before new rules kick in.
The representative body today acknowledged some practitioners have misgivings about the extra requirements imposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
But with the rules coming into force on 6 December, the Society has published guidance for how to comply and it has urged firms to ensure they are ready.
‘We know firms are concerned about how best to comply with the new requirements, and the shortage of time before December,’ said Law Society president Christina Blacklaws.
‘Firms that provide legal services, especially those that work with individuals and small businesses, must act promptly to comply with the new regulatory requirements. Our practice note provides firms with key points to consider when implementing the new minimum requirements, and we advise our members to read the rules and guidance carefully when making any changes.’
After 6 December, firms must publish price and service information on their websites, or to provide it to prospective clients on request if they do not have a website, for specific legal services.
For individual clients, this covers residential conveyancing, probate, immigration (except asylum), road traffic offences, and employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal). For business clients, the affected areas are employment tribunal claims (unfair/wrongful dismissal), debt recovery (up to £100,000) and licensing applications for business premises.
Firms will be required to publish the total cost of services (or the average costs or range of costs), the basis of charges, key stages of the matter and likely timeframes, any likely disbursements (and whether they include VAT) and the experience and qualifications of anyone carrying out the work.