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26 June 2023

Unregulated services in the legal world – a family law perspective

2 mins

Clients are often eager to get good advice as soon as possible. As such, it is very easy to fall into the trap of engaging unregulated services that may offer a fast, easy and low-cost solution.  

A new report that was commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been published, revealing that unregulated legal services make up about 6-8% of the total legal market. Specifically, the report sets out that 12% of family work comes from unregulated services. This is an alarming figure, especially considering the life-changing impact of family law cases on individuals who are parents, children, or spouses who are looking to step towards independence after the breakdown of their marriage or relationship.

Decisions about the separation of assets and drawing up schedules to determine who gets what require expertise and knowledge in financial remedy procedures. It is imperative that the client feels protected when receiving advice that has the ability to impact their future.

A regulated legal provider is required to be transparent about the service they are providing, a common trap in unregulated providers. It is difficult to achieve a high standard of client care if the client does not know what service they are signing up to.

The SRA is the body that regulates the solicitor’s profession and to which solicitors are held accountable, with the purpose of protecting the public. Having a regulatory body to hold professionals to certain standards, and require a certain amount of training is likely to make clients feel at ease when obtaining advice. The SRA ensures that solicitors meet high standards and act when risks are identified at any given stage. Contrasting this, a legal service that is not regulated by the SRA will not have the same standards. You can check the status of a law firm by visiting the SRA website and using the ‘Solicitor’s Register’ search function, which can be found here.

Our Family and Matrimonial experts advise on the full range of family law matters. To get in touch with the team directly, submit an enquiry form here.

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