rblog

Research reflections

By Debra Malpass on 22 December 2016

Welcome to our final blog of 2016. The festive break is usually a time people use for reflection on the events of the year, and we are no different. 

We started the year by publishing our research into the quality of advice provided to asylum seekers and in the spring produced reports on helping vulnerable people and IT and innovation. As part of our Looking to the Future consultation we published our market analysis, the changing legal services market, where we set out how the market currently operates.

The summer saw us launch our fourth annual Risk Outlook where we included lack of access to legal services as a priority risk for the first time. We also completed our landmark research into personal injury legal services.

In September we released our report on the possible implication of Brexit for lawyers. And this month we released the autumn update to the Risk Outlook, together with reports on information security and investment fraud. Looking back, it has been a busy year.

Your support

Providing evidence is what our work is all about. But we could not complete this work without your help. So a big thank you to everyone who has helped us this year: the individuals and firms answering our surveys, taking part in roundtable discussions and joining virtual reference groups. We also use the information you provide to us during practising certificate renewals. It helps us to understand the overall composition of the market and the type of services being provided. Without this, it would be far more challenging to regulate proportionately in the public interest. We look forward to speaking with more of you over the coming year.

The year ahead

Reflection can only get us so far. So come 1 January 2017 all the hard work starts again and we have an exciting year ahead. We are gathering evidence for the next Risk Outlook and our research programme is already under way. We will look into consumer experiences of complaining to law firms and how law firms deal with complaints.

We will also conduct research into cost transparency, which is particularly relevant following the Competition and Markets Authority’s market review of legal services, which demands greater cost transparency from law firms. We will also be working hard to continuously improve our work.

For example, we will embed behavioural insights1 into our work. By having a greater understanding of how solicitors and the public receive and react to our communications we can hopefully make life a little easier for all of us. We want to be straightforward to deal with. And when we provide information to people, we want to do it in a way that suits them. We will write about this in more detail soon.

Getting in touch

We want to continue improving, and that involves listening to your views. If you want to provide us with feedback about the Risk Outlook or any of our research publications, please email us at SRAresearch@sra.org.uk

1. Definition of behavioural insights

Debra Malpass