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Price transparency: Causes and solutions

Daniel van Binsbergen discusses how to fix the lack of transparency in the legal services marketplace

10 May 2017

In a stinging indictment of the legal profession, the Competition and Markets Authority reported in December 2016 that the legal services market is undermined by a lack of transparency on pricing and service quality. The CMA argued that this was because the legal services sector is characterised by incomplete or asymmetric information, and information plays a direct role in driving competition. In contrast, a more competitive process would lead to lower prices, higher quality, and greater innovation.Although the CMA’s report was written in the context of consumers and very small businesses, in-house legal teams at large companies are often faced with the same issues: no clarity on price; no reviews on service by other clients; and no real incentive for firms to innovate.

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The root cause of this problem i...

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