The Legal Services Board (LSB) publishes today its comments on the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) interim report for its legal services market study.

In its response, the LSB supports the report’s findings and agrees with the initial conclusions made by the CMA.The LSB concurs with the CMA’s analysis that there is a need for more transparency of price and service quality.

The absence of such indicators inhibits consumer choice, reducing the incentives for providers to compete on price, quality and innovation

.The LSB response also notes other features of the legal services market that affect competition in the sector. Consumers tend to purchase legal services infrequently and at times of distress. In addition, there is a legacy of strong professional identities that may impact upon competition. The LSB therefore recommends that market transparency measures should be combined with both short and long term regulatory reform to ensure that the market both works in the public interest and responds better to consumer needs.

Neil Buckley, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board said:

“We welcome the CMA’s interim report. It provides a clear analysis of the legal services market, its strengths and weaknesses and sets out a range of proposals as to how the market needs to work better for consumers. We believe that transparency can be improved and consumers empowered. However, we believe there are other inherent features of legal services which make it challenging to rely on consumers alone to actively shape the market. Well-designed market transparency measures need to be advanced in tandem with regulatory reform of the legislative framework as this could contribute directly to increasing competition in this sector.We look forward to working with the CMA to help them shape a set of transparency remedies and other measures that are practical, proportionate and consumer friendly.”

Source: Legal Services Board

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