The Legal Services Board is currently delving into the findings of its market report, looking into online reviews for lawyers and law firms. Discussing the relevance, pertinence, and potential necessity of displaying client reviews online, there’s one question that solicitors and their regulators are asking: should online reviews be compulsory for law firms?
Any law firm regulated by the SRA should now be aware that the LSB’s report is certainly pointing towards the implementation of online review collection, which would oblige law firms to begin showcasing their client reviews online. Motivating this potential change is the demand for the transparency of information available to prospective clients as well as the accessibility and availability of this.
The report has explicitly considered a number of factors, the following of which we consider to be the most prominent:
- Regulatory bodies may use a variety of levers to effect change and if the voluntary approach does not achieve sufficient uptake, regulatory requirements may be placed on providers.
- There should be more provision, and an increased quality, of core regulatory information
- Solutions should be pursued with regulatory bodies in order to contextualise the data on providers e.g. size, practice area, so that it is fair for them and also meaningful for the consumers seeking it
- Public and provider trust should be promoted through a voluntary accreditation scheme with a code of conduct – this should be operated by regulatory bodies and supported in public legal education
- Practice areas suitable for enhanced transparency should be identified
It is clear from this snapshot of the report’s findings that the LSB is an advocate of client reviews and also remains optimistic that they will be voluntarily adopted by service providers. Should this not be the case the LSB and other regulatory bodies stand ready to implement regulation mandating firms to this effect – both of which they suggest should be working towards the common goal of increased transparency in the legal market.
ReviewSolicitors has been actively participating in the SRA’s pilot scheme for online reviews since its launch in February 2021.
Michael Hanney, founder of ReviewSolicitors, says of the LSB’s report “voluntary review collection is coming to an end. Whilst the collection of online reviews is key to the increased transparency of information available to legal consumers, the LSB cannot be confident that all legal providers will adopt this of their own accord.
ReviewSolicitors want to make sure that service providers can themselves be confident in their review collection. We have created a legal-specific review collection platform, curated to the unique needs and demands of the legal sector. There has never been a better time for a firm to start its review collection journey.”
To claim your firm’s listing and begin collecting online legal specific reviews from your clients, click here.