Are you a law firm in England & Wales, and if so, does your website meet the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) new regulations for the Transparency Rules? The deadline to make sure your website follows the new guidelines is December 6, 2018. Under these Transparency Rules, law firms must publish price and service information for certain services, complaints information, and display the SRA digital badge.
How to ensure your website meets the Transparency Rules
In order to meet these rules your website must publish price and service information on the following areas:
- Conveyancing (residential)
- Probate (uncontested)
- Motoring offences (summary offences)
- Immigration (excluding asylum)
- Employment tribunals (unfair or wrongful dismissal)
- Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
- Licensing applications (for business premises)
You must also display the following complaints information:
- your complaints handling procedure;
- how and when a complaint can be made to the Legal Ombudsman;
- how and when a complaint can be made to us.
Lastly, your website must display the SRA digital badge. This badge will be available on the SRA website starting December 6th and will not be required until the spring of 2019.
Why are the new Transparency Rules in place?
According to the SRA, the 2016 Competition and Markets Authority report, “showed that people and businesses struggle to find clear information about the services firms offer and overestimate the costs of using a law firm or a solicitor.” Therefore, these new regulations should not only help the public get clear and concise information, but also help attract new clients.
What if our law firm does not have a website?
Firms without websites will still be required to have materials stating their pricing and complaint information that will be available to send out upon request.