1st May

Price Transparency Deadline

New rules governing Price Transparency come into force in May 2019

BSB Transparency Standards

Transparency Standards - Mandatory rules on price, service and redress transparency for everyone

Last Updated: 29th November 2018

We have produced an overview of how proposed new BSB Transparency Rules might affect Barristers from May 2019.

The new rules are a result of the recommendations set out in the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) Legal Services Market Study regarding price and service transparency.

CHANGE HISTORY

29/11/18 - First Draft

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Regulators have provided compliance templates for firms in order to help them comply with the new regulations.

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What are the BSB Transparency Rules?

The BSB Transparency Rules set out the information that firms that are regulated by the BSB (Bar Standards Board)should make available to clients and potential clients.

How will the BSB Transparency Rules affect me?

Barristers must publish information on the prices they charge for certain services, under proposed new measures that were put out for consultation on 13th September 2018. The deadline for responses to the consultation is Friday 14th December 2018.

Who will the new rules apply to?

According to the Bar Standard Board:

"The transparency rules will only apply to self-employed barristers, chambers and BSB entities. Barristers may work for an entity which is authorised by another legal regulator. For example, a law firm authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In this case, they will need to comply with the transparency rules of the other regulator. Barristers may also work in-house for an employer which is not authorised by a legal regulator. For example, a Government Department or financial institution. In this case, they will not need to comply with the transparency rules."

What are the new Rules?

The new approach includes introducing new rules to require all self-employed barristers, chambers and BSB regulated entities to publish on their websites (amongst other things):

  • • their most commonly used pricing models for legal services, such as whether they charge fixed fees or hourly rates;
  • • a statement making it clear that solicitors/Public Access clients (as appropriate) may make contact to obtain a quotation for legal services;
  • • the areas of law in which they most commonly provide legal services;
  • • a description of the legal services which they most commonly provide;
  • • information about the factors which might influence the timescales of a case;

If Barristers undertaking Public Access work provide certain Public Access services then, in certain circumstances, their websites will also need to state the following in relation to those services:

  • • their pricing model(s), such as fixed fee or hourly rate;
  • • indicative fees and the circumstances in which they may vary;
  • • whether their fees include VAT;
  • • likely additional costs e.g. court fees;
  • • a description of the service, including a statement of the key stages; and
  • • an indicative timescale for the key stages.

Which Public Access services are covered by the proposed new rules?

The table below details the case types covered by the Transparency Rules and whether they are supported by the QuoteXpress Transparency Compliance Tool

For Small Businesses

Case Type Available in QuoteXpress?
Employment tribunals YES - Transparency Compliance Tool
Licensing applications for business premises (new applications or varying existing licenses) YES - Transparency Compliance Tool
Personal Injury Claims COMING SOON

For Consumers

Case Type Available in QuoteXpress?
Immigration (excluding asylum applications) YES - Transparency Compliance Tool
Motoring offences (summary only offences) YES - Transparency Compliance Tool
Employment tribunals YES - Transparency Compliance Tool
Inheritance Act Advices COMING SOON
Child Arrangements COMING SOON
Financial disputes arising out of divorce COMING SOON
Winding-up petitions COMING SOON

How can QuoteXpress help?

QuoteXpress can help your firm comply with the new Regulatory Arrangements and Transparency Rules by providing you with a Transparency Compliance Tool and Instant Quote Generator you can add to your website and help your firm to meet the requirements of the new rules. Sign Up For Free Today!

BSB Transparency Rules

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