The SRA has launched a searchable, online law firm database as a first step to improving access to information about the 10,000 plus law firms it regulates.
Law firm search allows anyone wanting to use a law firm to check whether it is authorised by the SRA. The service provides limited firm data, such as contact details, but does not include disciplinary or service information.
The SRA says that it is embracing the Government’s Public Data Principles by making information on the firms it regulates freely available to all re-publishers, for example comparison websites.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “We know that consumers look to regulators for authoritative and reliable information. Open data is not just about transparency and availability—above all, the information we provide has to be useful.
“We want to help people to make informed decisions when buying legal services. This first step makes our basic data freely available but we are looking at how best to open up access to more information.”
The data is updated daily and is free to access, re-publish and share. Prior to this service, the SRA provided data directly to comparison websites that met the criteria set by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.
A web service for data re-users is scheduled to be launched in April.