Looking for a solicitor – new regulations bring more choice, but at what cost?

Most of us rarely need a solicitor, and when we do, it’s usually for an important event like buying or selling our home, divorce, writing a will or dealing with the estate of a loved one. At these turbulent times, we need the help and guidance of an experienced professional we can trust.

Now you have even more to consider when choosing a lawyer. On the 25th of November 2019, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority introduced the ‘SRA Standards and Regulations 2019’. This brought several major changes to legal services in England & Wales. One of the most significant for consumers is the creation of the ‘Freelance Solicitor’ category.

Freelance Solicitors are exempt from the SRA minimum terms and conditions of professional indemnity insurance and, depending on the services they provide; they won’t even need to have their practice as a freelance solicitor authorised. This could give the consumers more choice and potentially provide a more cost-effective solution but is it worth the risk?

Considering the risks

The SRA acknowledges “Some of the changes have been controversial due to the potential for clients to be misled over the insurance cover their solicitor will have, and the lack of redress available to clients through the Legal Ombudsman or SRA compensation fund.”

The Law Society, the professional body for solicitors, comments “A high street where different tiers of a solicitor, with different levels of protection, offer the same services to passers-by will make it more difficult for people who need legal advice to reach informed choices often at very traumatic moments in their lives, such as divorce and bereavement.”

How can you reduce these risks?

Freelance solicitors will have a place in the new legal landscape of the UK, but it’s essential you are aware of the risks should anything go wrong.

Qredible.co.uk provides consumers with credible and valuable information about solicitors, conveyancers, barristers and legal executives to help you avoid risk. Qredible is a free website where you can search detailed lawyer profiles sharing vital information about their costs, statutory bodies, insurance limits, experience, qualifications and everything you need to make a safe and informed decision when choosing the people who will help at key moments in your life.

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