Legal regulators should learn lessons from others to make services more accessible for consumers, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has suggested.
In the report – Lowering barriers to accessing services: lessons from other sectors – the regulator said that outside the legal services market there have been significant resources and effort devoted to making services more accessible.
It pointed particularly to the financial services, healthcare and utilities arenas and suggested that there were ‘lessons to take’ from these sectors.
The LSB looked at three core areas, other than cost, that act as barriers to accessing legal services – inaccessible language and communications, lack of trust and a failure to cater for the needs of vulnerable consumers.
It called on regulators to develop simple, plain English guides that explain regulation to consumers, develop logos and other visual representations for providers to use to denote regulation, and to embed the importance of consumer vulnerability within their work.
LSB chief executive, Neil Buckley, said: ‘We know that a high proportion of consumers with a legal problem do not seek legal advice. Many of the barriers experienced are not unique to legal services.
‘We hope that approved regulators will have regard to the themes in this report and use lessons learned in other sectors in their own existing and planned initiatives.’