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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it is undertaking a review of the implementation and impact of its 2016 legal services in England and Wales market study recommendations.

In 2016, the CMA carried out a market study into the supply of legal services in England and Wales, concluding that competition for individual consumers and small businesses was ‘not working well’. It specifically wanted more information to be available on price, quality and service to help clients choose the best option.

The CMA has now launched a short, focused review to assess the extent to which the market study recommendations have been taken forward and the impact that these changes have had on competition.

The 3-month long review will help the CMA examine if further measures are necessary to increase consumer engagement and help drive increased competition. It will look at existing evidence from regulatory monitoring and other available research, as well as submissions from interested parties.

The CMA is keen to examine information of service as well as price as it recognises clients also make decisions on these quality indicators. It has called for input into the review questions (September deadline and details below).

On announcing the start of it’s review yesterday, the CMA stated:

“We made recommendations to industry regulators to improve transparency by legal firms on price, quality and service, and to enable customers to navigate the market more easily and get value for money. We also made recommendations on regulatory reform, including to the Ministry of Justice to consider whether consumers of unregulated services need stronger protections and to review the regulatory framework for the longer term.”

Simon Harris, CMA Wales Representative, added:

“This is an important piece of work for the CMA and the legal services market. I am keen to encourage input from key stakeholders in Wales.”

Have your say on the review questions

The CMA has launched a call for inputs and would welcome responses by Wednesday 30 September 2020.  (See Appendix A of the call for inputs for its review questions). Findings are expected to be published by the end of 2020.

For further information please visit the CMA’s legal services review case page.

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.