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Referral arrangements

Our first major project looked at the use of referral arrangements within the legal sector, with a particular focus on the potential risks and benefits for consumers.

We defined referral arrangements as any situation where a lawyer receives business from, or refers business to, a third party. This often, but not always, involves the payment of a fee. The third party introducers may be lawyers or other types of businesses, such as claims management companies, estate agents and insurers.

The Panel took a fresh, evidence-based look at this issue, and based our findings on the views and evidence we received from stakeholders, new consumer research and economic analysis, and data obtained from regulators. Our report and the consumer research can be accessed below.

An LSB discussion paper on referral arrangements was released on 29 September 2010. The LSB's Decision Document on referral fees was published on 27 May 2011. The LSB also responded to the Panel's advice, which can be accessed below.

Key documents

Date Title Description
27 May 2011

LSB response on referral fees (pdf, 736kb)

The LSB's reponse to the Consumer Panel's report of referral arrangements.
26 May 2010 Referral Arrangements (pdf, 781kb) The Consumer Panel's report to the Legal Services Board on referral arrangements
26 May 2010 Referral Arrangements Consumer Research (pdf, 431kb) Vanilla Research report on the outcomes of consumer research commissioned as part of the referral arrangements project
26 May 2010 Consumer Panel calls for action to tackle problems around referral fees in legal services (pdf, 79kb) The Consumer Panel's press release on the publication of the referral arrangements report
8 March 2010 Referral Arrangements Submissions (link to new page) Submissions received by the Legal Services Consumer Panel in response to its call for eveidence on referral arrangements.
4 December 2009 Referral Arrangements: Call for Evidence (pdf, 109kb) Legal Services Consumer Panel’s call for evidence and terms of reference for its investigation into referral arrangements