The study by the Competition Authority of the professional services market is progressing and is expected to be completed by end 2004. The issue of fees is one element of the study, which has the overall aim of analysing any practice or method affecting competition in the provision of certain professional services.
To date, consultation documents on engineers and architects have been published, and the final reports will issue shortly. A consultation document on veterinarians will issue in late March. Consultation documents containing draft recommendations for the professions of solicitors and barristers should issue in the early summer of 2004. Draft recommendations for medical practitioners and dentists, plus the final reports on the legal professions, should issue in autumn 2004. I look forward to receiving the final reports of the authority in each sector.