You may have noticed that fees for certain areas of our work are shown on our website.
This is because our governing body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) brought in new guidance in December 2018 around 'pricing transparency', which essentially means that all law firms are now obliged to publicise prices for specified areas of the law.
In December 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its market study into the provision of legal services in England and Wales. The CMA concluded that competition in legal services was not working well and found that there was not enough information available on price, quality and service to help people choose the best option for them. The study found that this lack of transparency was weakening competition between firms, and meant that some consumers, in particular vulnerable consumers, did not obtain the legal advice they needed.
Respondents to the survey expressed a clear appetite for shopping around when purchasing legal services, with 66% saying they considered more than one solicitor when instructing conveyancing work and 71% spending more than an hour researching options (click here for this story in more detail).
Subsequently the SRA announced that, as of 6 December 2018, all law firms must publish certain prices on their website.
The Authority chose services that they feel firms can predict the activities that will need to be carried out and so can fairly easily fix or estimate prices.
So this is why, on our website, you will now find information, for certain areas of law, on costs, who will do the work, how long the work will likely take and the typical process involved.
The areas of law that this applies to, and our rates, can be found below:
We are also obliged to publish fees for residential conveyancing work, but as we use a quote tool, this is deemed sufficient according to the SRA, as you are able to get a price for your conveyancing work without needing to speak to anyone - click here to see our quote tool in more detail.
At Band Hatton Button, we are committed to providing clear, practical and cost-effective legal advice, a trusted and approachable service and outstanding client care.
Regardless of this SRA guidance, our policy is to tell our clients what we are going to charge them before they instruct us once we are in receipt of the relevant information. We will always be open and honest about our fees and we will keep clients informed of costs along the way.
The SRA are quite likely to widen this out so that it applies to other areas of law in time - so watch this space!