Easter, GDPR and Price Transparency, Really?!

The season of bunnies and Easter eggs has thankfully passed us by once again. For me, this time of year meant that I was forced to stumble through the aisles looking at over-priced chocolate. Then pretend I understood why the addition of a large bow enhanced the chocolate eating experience for my wife.

It also meant that my wife was in charge of the TV remote over the Easter long-weekend. She scanned through a plethora of classic romantic films that are a fixture on all bank holiday Mondays.

Whilst outwardly grimacing to, yet secretly enjoying, ‘My Fair Lady’, I am perpetually shocked by the blatant disregard for Eliza Doolittle’s sensitive information by the infatuated love interest Freddy Eynsford-Hill.

Through the very loud and public song, ‘On the Street Where you Live’, Freddy declares his love for Eliza. He worships the street she lives on whilst simultaneously disclosing an array of private information to all unfortunate people passing by. As my foot taps to the annoyingly catchy tunes, I am reminded of the parallels between Freddy’s actions and the conduct of many law firms regarding price transparency.

Now for the serious bit

A new Bellwether Report 2019 discussion paper, The Changing Face of Law, by LexisNexis, has highlighted the growing chasm of differing opinions concerning the impact price transparency is having on compliant firms. Of the 200 law firms questioned in the report, 29% of solicitors have fully embraced the transparent publishing of prices whilst a third of firms have rejected the rules to some extent or in their entirety.

Even after the SRA have confirmed that 500 random websites will be scanned for regulatory compliance, many firms continue to flout and ignore the rules. Following the Solicitors Regulatory Authority’s (SRA) ‘Residential Conveyancing Review,’ 34% of the initial quotes failed to include standard information that would incur additional fees.

Too many law firms are failing to clearly display their prices with some opting to avoid publishing them at all, whilst others are failing to fully explain the services they offer their clients or the expertise their staff are able to contribute. Overall, this leaves potential customers confused, annoyed and certain to choose a more honest and forthright law firm.

For fear of non-compliance, some law firms have even taken the drastic step of removing themselves from the internet. In the modern world, if you are not online, you are invisible and will lose out on potential business.

Although GDPR now prevents law firms from serenading email inboxes in the same way that Freddy subjects Eliza’s street to his self-indulgent love song, it is imperative that your law firm is able to shout out about the quality expertise that will be available if a customer uses your firm.

Whilst Freddy’s public declaration may be massively inappropriate, he clearly expresses his feelings and passionately delivers his message. All law firms must confidently do the same if they are to thrive in such a changing environment. Even if your law firm is not covered by the new SRA or CLC transparency rules, we believe many firms would benefit from implementing changes in line with the sentiment behind the new rules.

Making details of your pricing and services clear on your website (even if you don’t want to compete solely on price) presents a great opportunity for you to show off your firm’s strengths and unique selling points.

You may, for example, wish to take this opportunity to:

  • explain how qualified your staff are and why you represent great value for money.
  • explain how your services include items that many other firms charge extra for.
  • find the aspects of your law firm’s services that you are proud of and want to shout about.

How can we help?

Here at Solve Legal Marketing, we pride ourselves on our unique understanding of the legal sector. With the new transparency rules in mind, our free law firm website audit now includes analysis of how your site currently fares under the rules. We also look at what you could improve to give your firm a competitive edge, while also complying with the regulations.

Solve’s vibrant content team are also available to provide bespoke articles that will improve your law firm’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Google and the other main search engines value detailed content that answers people’s questions and keeps visitors on your website. Our Conveyancing or Probate Content Packs can provide pertinent, fresh and regular news to help improve the organic traffic to your website.

Whereas the actions of Freddy Eynsford-Hill were definitely not GDPR compliant, if he were a law firm website, he would confidently be displaying his message to the consumer. Don’t let a fear of price transparency turn your law firm invisible!

Martin Parrin, Solve Legal

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Solve Legal Marketing are a full-service marketing agency dedicated to the legal sector. As publishers of Today’s Conveyancer and Today’s Wills and Probate, our specialisms include content writing and strategic marketing advice and support.

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