The Competition and Markets Authority, prompted by concerns raised by interested parties that the legal services sector might not be working as well as it should, launched a study into the legal services market in January 2016 focusing on individual consumers’ and small businesses' experience of purchasing legal services in England and Wales. In its interim report, the CMA found some important problems in the functioning of the market to the detriment of consumers. The final report, which is due by the 12 January 2017 statutory deadline, will explore in full the hurdles to competition in the legal services market and make proposals for the appropriate remedies as well as recommendations for the regulatory framework of the legal services market. This will be the first public discussion of the report, which is likely to make a significant impact on a market with an annual turnover of £11-12 billion.
Robert Bourns is President of the Law Society of England and Wales.
Niamh Dunne is Assistant Professor at LSE Law.
Rachel Merelie is Senior Director at the Competition and Markets Authority.
Paul Philip is Chief Executive of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.
Julia Black is Interim Director of LSE and Professor of Law at LSE.
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A copy of Rachel Merelie's powerpoint presentation is available to download. Download 'Competition and the Regulation of the Legal Services Market' (pdf).
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