All regulated persons should read carefully the Transparency and costs guidance which explains our requirements relating to the provision of clear and accurate information to clients on your services, costs and associated matters. It helps you to understand ways in which you might comply with your obligations, as well as providing wider best practice advice. It is mainly aimed at sole traders and firms regulated by us. It will also be relevant to consumers. You can also watch our recent webinar here.
IPReg has prepared a standard information sheet which is designed to help new or less sophisticated consumers understand the sorts of information about fees and other costs which they may need in order to make an informed choice about their legal provider. Attorneys and firms may direct clients and potential clients to this leaflet or they can choose to provide this sort of information in another way.
IPReg took a transitional approach to enforcement of the new transparency rules (paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 of Chapter 2 to the Code of Conduct) and all regulated persons needed to ensure they were in compliance with these rules by 31 October 2023.
Regulated persons should also be aware that many of their clients will have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman's Office ("LeO"). The LeO has recently issued a third edition of its View of Good Costs Service guidance which provides a number of case studies demonstrating how and in what circumstances complaints about costs and transparency have been upheld or refused. IPReg encourages all regulated persons to be mindful of this guidance in addition to IPReg's own regulatory arrangements and published guidance.