Fee disclosure would be a ‘significant cultural shift’ for barristers, the Bar Standards Board said, publishing an action plan for change.
BSB research, which looked at 368 chambers (329 with websites), found that 75% made no reference to fees on their websites, while 6% provided numerical data regarding their fees/prices and 8% provided guidance about how fees are typically calculated, without figures.
It found price transparency was most common in public access and family law.
The BSB’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA)’s demand for action plans on transparency – CMA Legal Services Market Study: BSB response – included a programme of research and engagement.
It will run fee disclosure pilots for public access and family law barristers in the autumn before consulting on rule changes in March 2018 and implementing them in December 2018.
BSB Director of Strategy and Policy, Ewen MacLeod, said: ‘In developing our plan, we have started to identify good practice in chambers. We want to build on this and ensure our proposals take into account the ways in which barristers deliver their services.’
Highlighting the opportunity to introduce ‘real improvements for clients’, he pledged to engage closely with the Bar, legal regulators and interested parties.