The Legal Ombudsman compares well with similar schemes on case resolution speeds, client satisfaction and perceptions of fairness, but many complainants reject its findings and its cost per complaint is high, according to a study.
The Legal Services Board’s consumer body has come out strongly in favour of making it compulsory that the chairs of the frontline regulators are not drawn from the profession, saying it would help counter conservatism in liberalising the legal market.
The possibility of clients buying ‘top-up’ cover to fill the gaps in compulsory professional indemnity insurance has been floated by the Legal Services Board as it set the scene for a significant shake-up of current financial protection arrangements.
Solicitors and consumer representatives have come out on opposite sides of the Legal Ombudsman’s proposal to extend its remit to the estimated 130,000 unregulated legal services providers operating in England and Wales.
The Legal Ombudsman is to begin work on what types of complaints it should accept from non-clients amid reports of lawyers harassing third parties over alleged debts, violating their privacy and doling out abusive treatment in court.
The Law Society’s bid to regain powers from the Solicitors Regulation Authority is “quite staggering”, the chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said – and it has stiffened her resolve to oppose any return to self-regulation.
A single regulator for all legal services providers and a single code of conduct is the way forward for the market, the Legal Services Consumer Panel argued today. It essentially recommended tearing up the Legal Services Act 2007 and starting again.
Lawyers needs to improve their interpersonal skills, be patient, respectful and remove jargon to provide disabled clients with a better legal service, research has claimed. More also needs to be done to advertise legal services to people with learning disabilities.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has questioned the Law Society’s strong reaction to its recommendation that the possibility of a single compensation fund across the legal profession be explored, including whether the society has actually read all of its work on the issue.
The Law Society has dismissed the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s call to consider a single compensation fund for all legal service providers. It claimed that the panel’s report “lacks the degree of rigour necessary for it to be considered seriously”.