The Legal Services Board (LSB) has highlighted the inherent risks of using unregulated legal service providers in a new study.
The findings of its ‘Unregulated Providers Research Project’ show that although unregulated providers make up just five per cent of the legal services market, those consumers who use such providers often do not realise they are unregulated or understand the differences in the levels of consumer protection.
The project also found that some unregulated providers were not transparent enough for their clients to understand the services they were buying, with some making misleading advertising claims.
The report – which focusses on wills, divorce and intellectual property law – found that each year unregulated providers write around 65,000 wills and assist an estimated 23-30,000 clients with their divorce.
Responding to the LSB’s findings, the Bar Council said: “Using unqualified and insufficiently insured providers of advice in family matters, which will often involve children, instead of using the services of properly regulated professional lawyers, carries considerable risk for all concerned.”
Why you should instruct a solicitor
When you obtain legal advice from a solicitor, you have the assurance of knowing you are dealing with a qualified professional who is properly regulated and insured. If something were to go wrong, you would have the right of redress through our regulatory bodies in addition to basic consumer protection.
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