Goldsmith Williams has welcomed the latest report from The Legal Services Board Consumer Panel over referral fees.
The Consumer Panel has concluded that a ban of referral arrangements between conveyancers and introducers such as mortgage advisers would not be in the consumer interest, but it has recommended that disclosure arrangements need to be tightened, including the possibility of needing to obtain client consent prior to a referral.
The report follows the publication of a research study in May this year, which concluded that conveyancers who pay referral fees provide a faster and higher quality service and charge lower fees to clients, than firms who don’t pay referral fees.
The Consumer Panel has concluded that there is no evidence to support the charge that referral arrangements compromise the independence of legal advice or lead to more expensive or poorer quality service and that referral arrangements should be allowed to remain in place.
However, the Consumer Panel has recommended that further work needs to be done to tighten disclosure rules, including a potential requirement to obtain a client’s written consent to a referral.
Eddie Goldsmith , senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said: “The recommendations made by the Legal Services Board are both sensible and proportionate and they are right to emphasise the importance of proper disclosure.