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Consumer Impact Report

The Consumer Impact Report is the only assessment of the legal services reforms from a uniquely consumer perspective. The report uses consumer research and statistical data from a range of sources in order to build up a basket of indicators.

The Panel has defined the high-level outcomes that it wants to see for consumers:

  • Responsive services
  • High quality advice
  • A diverse workforce that serves its diverse clients
  • Quick, fair and cost-effective complaints-handling
  • Consumers are placed at the heart of regulation

The Consumer Impact Report is the Panel's assessment of the direction of travel towards achieving this vision. The 2014 report - the third in the series – shows that consumers are benefiting from the competition reforms, but progress is still less than it should be in several important areas. Taking the five sections of the report in turn, the Panel found:

  • Responsive services - positive signs of consumer power driving competition and many examples of innovation following the liberalisation measures, but people still lack information on lawyers' performance to compare options
  • High quality advice - the technical quality of advice remains largely unknown and this evidence gap is a major concern. Service satisfaction among consumers is unchanged and the decline in trust in lawyers has levelled off.
  • A diverse workforce that serves its diverse clients - there remain significant, although slightly narrowing, gaps in trust, confidence and satisfaction with legal services between population groups. DIY law, unbundling and paralegal businesses are emerging as market solutions to improve affordability, but require choices which balance access to justice and consumer protection
  • Quick, fair and cost-effective complaints handling - there is low public confidence about complaining and too many consumers choose to suffer in silence, but there are signs lawyers are getting better at handling complaints.
  • Consumers placed at the heart of regulation - independence from representative bodies is strengthened but a lack of cultural independence from the workforce is seen to have held back the pace of market reforms. Consumer research by the approved regulators is still minimal. The wider regulatory architecture does not provide a sustainable model in the long term

The Consumer Impact Report is published every two years. Therefore the next report is due for publication in late 2016. However, the Panel continues to commission a yearly Tracker Survey to measure ongoing changes with the next survey results due in Spring 2015. Briefing notes and raw data from previous surveys can be found below.

Key documents

Date Title Description
5 December 2014 Consumer Impact Report 2014 The third edition of our flagship evaluation of the legal services reforms
27 October 2014 Arolwg Tracio 2014 (pdf, 885kb) Nodyn briffio: Cymru
29 May 2014 Tracker Survey 2014 - data tables for recent users (Excel, 615kb) Full data tables from the 2014 Tracker Survey relating to part 2 of the research - a sample of recent users
29 May 2014 Tracker Survey 2014 - data tables for general public sample (Excel, 593kb) Full data tables from the 2014 Tracker Survey relating to part 1 of the research - a sample of the general population
29 May 2014 Tracker Briefing 3: Wales (pdf, 870kb) The third of the 2014 Tracker Briefings
29 May 2014 Tracker Briefing 2: Confidence and satisfaction (pdf, 705kb) The second of the 2014 Tracker Briefings
23 May 2014 Tracker Briefing 1 - A changing market (pdf, 341kb) The first of the 2014 Tracker Briefings
27 June 2013 Tracker Survey 2013 - data tables for general public sample (excel, 162kb) Full data tables from the 2013 Tracker Survey relating to part 1 of the research - a sample of the general population
27 June 2013 Tracker Survey 2013 - data tables for recent users of legal services (excel, 476kb) Full data tables from the 2013 Tracker Survey relating to part 2 of the research - a sample of recent users of legal services
27 June 2013 Tracker Briefing 4 - public confidence in the market (506kb) The final tracker briefing for 2013
14 June 2013 Tracker Briefing 3 - satisfaction with legal services (pdf, 426kb) The third tracker briefing, focusing on satisfaction levels
30 May 2013 Tracker Briefing 2 - shopping for legal services (pdf, 723kb) The second of four 2013 Tracker Survey briefings
20 May 2013 Tracker Briefing 1 - using and funding legal services (pdf, 810kb) The first of the 2013 Tracker Survey briefings
25 June 2012 Consumer Impact Report 2012, updated (pdf, 1.35mb) The Consumer Panel's assessment of the legal services reforms in 2012 - this is the only such assessment from a uniquely consumer perspective
25 June 2012 Consumer Impact Report - overview (pdf, 271kb) A short overview of the 2012 Consumer Impact Report
25 June 2012 Tracker Survey 2012 - data tables for general public sample (excel, 187kb) Full data tables from the Tracker Survey 2012 relating to Part 1 of the research: a sample of the general population
25 June 2012 Tracker Survey 2012 - data tables for recent users sample (excel, 401kb) Full data tables from the Tracker Survey 2012 relating to Part 2 of the research: a sample of recent users of legal services
31 May 2012 Tracker Survey 2012 Highlights (pdf, 1,310kb) 10 highlights from the 2012 Tracker Survey
24 June 2011 Consumer Impact Report 2011 (pdf, 761kb) The Consumer Panel's assessment of the impact of the Legal Services Act on consumers
21 June 2011 Tracker Survey 2011  - report (pdf, 843kb) A written summary of the research findings from the Tracker Survey 2011
21 June 2011 Tracker Survey 2011 - survey data (excel, 618kb) Full data tables from the Tracker Survey 2011
20 October 2010 Consumer Impact Report - expert advisory group Biographies of the members of the informal expert advisory group
14 July 2010 Consumer Impact Report - Description (pdf, 106kb) Description of the Consumer Panel's Consumer Welfare Index project

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