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Choosing and using legal services

The Legal Services Board requested the Consumer Panel’s advice about how regulators can help consumers to play a more active, empowered role in the legal services market.

The Panel published two background papers (below) as well as a final report on Empowering Consumers.  The report concludes that legal services consumers are currently not very empowered and identifies five areas for further work:

  • The LSB needs to define a clear strategic approach towards empowering consumers at a market-wide level and ask the regulators to determine how this should apply within their own operating contexts;
  • Real headway must be made on the action areas already set in motion by the LSB, such as around choice tools and consumer engagement, using the regulatory standards work as the main lever to ensure delivery;
  • Coordinating expanded and more joined-up information provision, and ensuring the quality of information resources;
  • Facilitating dialogue between organisations concerned with public legal education, legal regulators and others to agree respective roles, and to explore the desirability and feasibility of an NHS Direct style service for law;
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of information remedies, ensuring these work well for consumers without imposing unnecessary burdens on providers.

The LSB accepted the Panel's recommendations, and has also written to the approved regulators on the issue of empowering consumers.

Key documents

Date Title Description
20 May 2013 Letter from LSB Chairman David Edmonds to Panel Chair Elisabeth Davies Letter from the Legal Services Board Chairman accepting the Panel's recommendations on empowering consumers
20 May 2013 Letter from LSB to approved regulators Letter from the Legal Services Board to the approved regulators, on the issue of empowering consumers
14 March 2013 Empowering Consumers - Phase One report (pdf, 324kb) The Panel's report to the Legal Services Board on how regulators can help consumers play a more active role in the legal services market
22 January 2013 Background paper 2: Empowering consumers, learning from other sectors (pdf, 534kb) The second of two background papers produced by the Panel on the theme of empowering consumers
03 January 2013 Background paper 1: Empowering consumers, possibilities and limitations (pdf, 733kb) The first of two background papers produced by the Consumer Panel on empowering consumers
03 October 2012 Commissioning letter from LSB (pdf, 604kb) LSB letter formally requesting the Consumer Panel's advice on how regulators can help consumers choose and use legal services