It is almost two years since the Final Report of the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation was published (all of the Review’s papers are available here). The catalyst for the Review was the market study carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA concluded that the legal sector was not working well for consumers. In carrying out its work, the CMA made several references to consumer harm and detriment. So, too, did the Final Report.
However, what transpired in conversations following the Final Report was that the nature of consumer harm was largely being assumed or only illustrated. A core goal of regulation – the protection of consumers from harm – faced some under-developed but important challenges. What exactly are the types of consumer harm in legal services, the causes of that harm, the consequences of experienced harm, and the particular remedies that might be available for it (depending on its nature and who caused it)?
The Supplementary Report to the IRLSR (Consumer harm and legal services: from fig leaf to legal well-being, published today) seeks to answer these questions, and this post is taken from the Preface.