Consumer groups should be welcoming the passage of the Legal Services Bill first stage because it has been three years since a complaint was first launched by Which? and following the complaint has been a large level of contention and drama.
Those who have been watching the Bill can contest that there is still plenty of debate yet to come as Stage 2 is yet to be passed, but regardless of the feelings on both sides, it is still worth taking note of what prompted the consumer group to ask the OFT to consider if Scotland’s legal services market is competitive enough.
Some consumers feel that the business structure of lawyers is to restricting to them without offering much choice or innovation. There are a few lawyers that would embrace more flexibility in their work styles and the chance to offer services in a new manner.
On the other hand, some people feel that the bill was created with big business in mind, but that idea is surrounded by misdirection and misunderstanding of the new legislation. A proper understanding of the bill will show that it is focused on the public and modernizing the way lawyer services is offered.
It also provides a way for legal services to be offered up to the public along other services that they may need and at times by other providers who may be offer different but more unique expertise tailored to their needs. The criticism however lies in the Stage 2 part of the bill, which will define that those services are, who will provide them, and what exactly the public demand is.