Compulsory rules to publish reams of information about legal services may mislead clients rather than help them, the Law Society of England and Wales warned today.
Responding to proposals from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), new Society president Joe Egan warned that ’more information doesn’t necessarily mean better information’.
Forcing firms to publish a raft of information without proper context has the potential to mislead clients, he said, adding that: ’Before introducing more regulation, the SRA should demonstrate that the information it seeks to be published will be useful to clients.’
A particular concern is that the SRA's proposals coincide with its plan to allow solicitors to work from unregulated entities, which will not be subject to the information publishing requirements.
Egan said: ’Clients who do not benefit from regulatory protections like insurance have the greatest need for clear information before they make a purchasing decision. Yet they will not be covered by these new requirements.’
The Society said its Transparency Toolkit supports solicitors to provide the most relevant and useful information in the most appropriate way for their clients.
’Helping clients to make informed choices about legal services is at the heart of every solicitor’s practice,’ Egan said. ’Clients have an enormous range of requirements, knowledge, preferences and objectives, even when it comes to relatively straightforward legal transactions like conveyancing. As a profession we will continue to adapt and innovate to meet client needs.’