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The CMA has today opened a consultation on draft consumer protection law compliance guidance for unregulated businesses providing will writing, online divorce, and pre-paid probate services in the UK.

The purpose of the draft guidance is to help unregulated providers of will writing, online divorce and pre-paid probate services in the UK to better understand and comply with their existing obligations under UK consumer protection law. The CMA has produced the draft guidance as part of its investigation into will-writing and other unregulated legal services, launched in July 2023.

The watchdog said ‘increases in the cost of living mean that shopping around for a more affordable option is sometimes a necessity, and it is important that the providers of the services operate in line with the law’. The CMA said its remit is to specifically examine compliance with current UK consumer protection law and, ‘where we feel there are areas of potential non-compliance, to consider what the CMA can do to improve the situation’.

As the focus of this work is consumer law compliance, the CMA is not making any general recommendations regarding regulation in the sector.

Using evidence gathered from businesses, consumers, and stakeholders, the CMA has identified some areas of concern and decided that guidance would be beneficial. As a first step, it has produced the draft guidance document on which it is now consulting.

The draft guidance

The draft guidance sets out the requirements of consumer law and provides some practical ‘do and don’t’ checklists and case study examples to illustrate the types of issue and potential consumer law breaches we have identified.

After the final guidance is issued, the CMA intends to conduct a compliance review to assess compliance levels across the sector. If the review shows that concerns remain, the CMA will consider whether enforcement action may be necessary to raise compliance levels and protect consumers.

Subject to the responses to the consultation, the CMA will issue final compliance guidance later in the year.

The consultation

The CMA invites written responses to the questions that can be found in the consultation document. Submissions should be sent to by 5pm on 13 June 2024.

More information regarding the consultation and the draft compliance guidance document under consultation, can be found here.

Emma Waddingham

Emma Waddingham

Editor, Legal News

Emma Waddingham is the Editor & Founder of Legal News. She is a seasoned legal editor and journalist and experienced marketing & events consultant, working almost exclusively with the UK legal sector.