On 13 January 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study into legal services to see if they are working well for consumers and business. The market study examined three key issues:
- Whether customers can drive effective competition by making informed purchasing decisions
- Whether customers are adequately protected from potential harm or can obtain satisfactory redress if legal services go wrong
- How regulation and the regulatory framework impact on competition for the supply of legal services.
The CMA’s final report was published on 15 December 2016. Further details of the CMA study can be found on their website: Legal services market study.
The CMA made a specific recommendation to the LSB that it:
- Monitors and engages with the frontline regulators on their progress in implementing the CMA’s recommendations directed to them
- Reports publicly, at appropriate intervals, on the sufficiency of action plans published by regulators individually and collectively and the progress in delivering those action plans
- Takes appropriate action where regulators fail to address information gaps.
We have agreed to this recommendation and published a document which explains how we will deliver it. You can find this document below.
The LSB engaged with the CMA throughout its market study. In particular, we made a series of announcements and made written submissions to the CMA at different stages, which you can find below.
- 13 January 2016: LSB press release welcoming the announcement of CMA market study
- 03 February 2016: Letter to CMA – LSB’s initial views on the market study; Annex to letter – relevant research and analysis to the market study
- 05 April 2016: Letter to CMA – supplementary submission from the LSB providing details of our research into the prices of common legal services for individual consumers
- 19 August 2016: LSB submission to the CMA’s interim report
- 19 September 2016: LSB supplementary submission on the reserved activities
- 15 December 2016: LSB press release responding to the CMA’s final report
- 19 April 2017: LSB press release announcing how we will deliver the CMA’s recommendation directed to us
- 19 April 2017: Document explaining how we will deliver the CMA’s recommendation directed to us