Increasing emphasis on consumer protection is driving new regulations governing the way legal service providers communicate with their clients. Since December 2018, providers of certain legal services must provide certain price information on their websites (or make it available on request, if they do not have a website). This must include information about the services provided and the likely timescales, as well as on the experience of staff handling the matter. In addition, all firms and freelance solicitors must publish information on their regulatory status and complaints procedures.
As part of these arrangements, firms must include the SRA “clickable badge” in a prominent place on their website. Although there have been some concerns around the data protection implications of the badge, as well as its effectiveness in helping consumers avoid scams and bogus firms, it is now mandatory. The SRA is pursuing an active enforcement strategy, including random sweeps of websites.
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For regulated individuals who provide services to the public on behalf of organisations that have not been authorised by an approved regulator such as the SRA, there are specific provisions that apply.
If you have any queries or concerns arising from transparency rules or are looking for advice on meeting those requirements or best practice, we can help.