Following a formal tender process, IRN Research and Spinnaker were selected to deliver an extensive research project assessing the One Year Evaluation of the Transparency Reforms. This detailed and extensive national research project was comprised of desk research, stakeholder interviews, online consumer survey (individual consumers and SME consumers), online legal services provider survey, follow up qualitative interviews culminating in the delivery of a detailed and extensive report published by the SRA in October 2020.
Only one in ten people seek support from a legal professional such as a solicitor or barrister. One of the major barriers to people finding the help they need is the lack of accessible information to help them make informed decisions, such as price and quality indicators. The SRA introduced the Transparency Rules in 2018, to make sure the public and businesses have easier access to the information they need to make informed decisions when purchasing legal services. Introduction of the rules also followed the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) legal services market study of 2016.
Importantly our research included a real diversity of people as well as engaging with organisations that support consumers, some of them vulnerable, and representative groups. Especially considering the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups we were keen to support and engage with those who have unmet legal needs and/or may be finding it difficult to access justice.
This research involved extensive fieldwork:
Key findings from the research were encouraging:
The full report (click here to download from the SRA website) was published in October 2020 and has made a valuable contribution to the conversation around transparency and pricing of legal services. The research was even referred to by the President of The Law Society on Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours‘ (from minute 14:23).
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Spinnaker and IRN delivered a detailed and considered report, the key findings of which included:
Feedback from consumer groups and other stakeholders also suggests that some firms could do more to make the information they are publishing more easily accessible for the public, for example by removing legal jargon and presenting information in plainer English. To download the full report go to the SRA website.