- Childs to take financial watchdog role as first post-CC appointment
- HSF appoints Sonya Leydecker and Mark Rigotti as joint CEOs
- Barclays to revamp legal panel structure as review commences
- Shearman adds two to City partnership in global promotions round
- Allens down to one lawyer in Singapore after final partner exit
- Jones Day promotes 34 lawyers, including two in London, four in Asia
- A year in headlines - a look back at Legal Week's most-read articles of 2013
- ‘Onerous’ courts interpretation contract hits Capita profits
- 46 jobs lost as Challinors finally goes under
- Broker offers online PII service
- Landmark planning judgment holes golf course plan
- Family judge criticises reliance on free representation
- MoJ awards tagging contracts to new companies
- Britons taking to online legal services, says startup
- Banking sector clients have too much sway over their legal advisers, say partners
- Davis Polk's City base tops client rankings for quality of advice
- Stronger economy and healthy half-year revenues fuel confidence boost at top firms
- IT teams under siege as personal tablet use booms at law firms
- In-house lawyers still unsure how upcoming EU patent changes will impact on IP litigation
- Lack of language skills leaves UK in-house lawyers off the pace in emerging markets
- Investor appetite – a contemporary insight into the UK real estate market
- Firm hires: Jim Hickey at Bowcock & Pursaill
- Team move: Weightmans LLP
- In-house move: Charlotte Hardie at Glaisyers
- In-house move: Alison Rocca at Glaisyers
- Team move: Alan Roberts & Co
- New associate: Cynthia Arko at EIP
- Firm hires: Stewart Young at Stewarts Law
- Boyes Turner pulls out of tripartite merger talks
- Herts firm enters administration after failing to secure PII cover
- Hogan Lovells confirms Immelt as CEO after partner vote closes
- 5RB David Sherborne secures Harry Styles paparazzi injunction
- WFW appoints new managing partners
- Clifford Chance client Excalibur slammed in High Court ruling
- BLP employment head Younson quits
5 October 2010
Exclusive: consumer panel puts plans for comparison website standards on ice
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has had to put on ice plans to develop best practice standards for legal comparison websites, Legal Futures has learned.
The work formed part of the panel’s 2010-11 workplan, published in March, but has been shelved because the panel has since been asked by the Legal Services Board (LSB) to investigate will-writing regulation. This is likely to be a time-intensive project which has forced the panel to reassess its priorities.
The panel is supported by just two members of staff and so its resources can only be stretched so far.
However, the panel believes there remains the need to define proper standards for comparison websites in the legal services market and it continues to monitor developments. The panel will return to the subject as it considers its work programme for 2011-12.
Panel chairwoman Dr Dianne Hayter said: “Having been asked by the LSB to investigate the important issue of the need to regulate will-writing companies, the panel has decided to concentrate on this in the coming period and to turn to the issue of comparison websites later. Given the weight given by the LSB to our input on referral fees, we consider that influencing their policy on current issues justifies this extra input on will writing.”
LSB research last year indicated that consumers would like to see price comparison websites in the legal market, and in its workplan the panel said it viewed such sites as “a positive development”.
But it continued: “However, in some sectors, concerns have been raised about businesses ‘gaming’ the sites and a lack of transparency about how these services operate. Regulators have needed to take a closer look in order to ensure a fair playing field and restore consumer confidence. The consumer panel is keen to ensure that the new breed of comparison websites in legal services do not fall into the same traps. We will draw up a set of good practice standards building on experience from other arenas and assess the extent to which the services meet the needs of users.”
Meanwhile, iCompareSolicitors.co.uk – which allows clients to rank and leave comments about their lawyers – is offering a free website to every firm that subscribes to its service. Founder Colin Mahoney said this would provide solicitors with “a vital and reliable source of new business."
(***The above articles and comments are the duplication of those as featured in Legal Futures)