Barristers and solicitors should provide the average costs of their services online and their regulators publish more accessible details of complaints and enforcement action, according to the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

The Panel said that legal services are ‘far behind other regulators’ and identified a ‘clear need for improved access to basic data’ provided in a transparent and ‘user-friendly’ manner.

It recommended that the frontline regulators – the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors’ Regulation Authority – carry out mystery shopping exercises to check the quality of service in ‘high risk’ areas.

Panel chair, Elisabeth Davies, said: ‘More needs to be done to empower consumers and encourage them to make informed decisions. Information, simply presented, at the time of need, is one tool that can be used by legal services regulators.’