Law firms will from the end of the year be forced to publish the prices of certain legal services, including residential conveyancing, probate, employment tribunal work, immigration and motoring offences.

The aim is to encourage greater transparency in law firms.

But how should law firms approach this new requirement, and how helpful will buyer find a simple menu of prices?

Consider two restaurant menus.  
- Steak and chips - £10.
- Aged Angus rib-eye steak, hand-cut triple-cooked chips, accompanied by heirloom tomatoes,  field mushrooms and a choice of garlic or peppercorn sauces - £15.

Both the same meal, but what one would you chose?

There is always a place for the bargain, but this move by the SRA risks a race to the bottom, particularly for high street firms, and it is difficult to see how that will help anyone. 

Law firms would be better to use this as an opportunity to explain how they work, the support they offer clients and the value they can bring, rather than saying 'we're cheaper that X next door. 

Publish prices, but explain what customers are buying.  That is how you can stand apart in this crowded market.