For many of the decisions we make in our lives, be they big or small, we know in advance what it will cost. Whether booking a holiday or renewing our car insurance, prices are on display and we can keep an eye on them as make our decisions. So, by the time we get to pay, there aren’t too many surprises.
However, it’s not been that straightforward in other situations, such as getting help from a lawyer.
Price is important when choosing what to buy. But we also need to know what is on offer for our money. Only then can we weigh up our options.
If you needed legal help, would you know how much it might cost? Or what work the lawyer would do for you? Could you decide whether the lawyer was right for you, so offering you good value for money?
Until recently lawyers didn’t have to publish any details about what legal services they offered or what it would cost to use them. You might not learn how much you would have to pay until you asked for a quote. This made it difficult to compare and know if you were getting value for what you paid.
The good news is that new rules are now in place. Most regulated law firms must now provide information about the legal work that they will carry out. Lawyers must also publish their prices for services that many of us need at some point in our lives. And law firms are being encouraged to look at how they can best show the quality of the service they offer.
When you need a lawyer for the legal side of buying or selling your home (known as conveyancing), you should now easily be able to find prices and details of the legal work that will be involved. Lawyers must provide this information up front, usually by displaying it on their website.
If you need legal help with probate if someone close to you dies, or if you have problems at work that end up in an employment tribunal, the same applies. You should now be easily to find out what it will cost to use different lawyers, helping you to make your decision.
When choosing a lawyer, do think about what you want from them and then shop around, compare the services they offer and the way they deliver them and then use price to help make an informed choice.