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Legal providers to publish prices online to help people moving house

Feb 22, 2017
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has conducted a market study into legal services and found that home buyers and those moving house often don’t have the information they need at hand to make the right decision.

A lack of clear and comparable information limits the ability of consumers to shop around and compare legal providers which, in turn, provides little incentive for legal providers to compete on price, innovate or improve their services.

Following the market study, the CMA has made a number of recommendations to help consumers have the right information available to them when they need it.

These include:

  • Working with regulators to require legal providers to advertise their prices directly on their websites so that pricing is transparent;
  • Encouraging legal providers to engage with reviews and ratings online;
  • Helping to develop online legal price comparison tools by getting regulators to make data available; 
  • Asking regulators to work with consumer and small business groups in delivering improved information standards on price, service, quality and general guidance on purchasing legal services.

Acting Executive Director for the legal services market study, Rachel Merelie said: “You might not require a legal service very often but when you do it will often be at a crucial point in your life. Better informed consumers who are more equipped to assess and make choices will increase competition, not just on price but also on quality and innovation.”

Perhaps the increased competition will also encourage legal providers to do all they can to ensure the on-time transfer of funds and so reduce the problem moving companies have when keys are unavailable.

Photo: Legal services market study Acting Executive Director Rachel Merelie.

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