The Legal Ombudsman has pledged to avoid pursuing an “expansionist” strategy when considering expanding its jurisdiction, but nevertheless welcomed the Competition and Markets Authority’s suggestion that it could handle complaints against unregulated legal providers.
The Legal Ombudsman’s budget is set to rise for the first time since its creation – by £1m – with claims management companies not paying the case fees they have been charged the key cause and more expected to follow as they continue to go out of business.
The incoming chair of the Office for Legal Complaints – the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman – is to sell her investments in two leading alternative business structures, it has been confirmed. The fact Wanda Goldwag had them only came into the public domain last Friday.
MPs have approved the appointment of Wanda Goldwag as the new chair of the Office for Legal Complaints – the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman – as it also emerged that she has small shareholdings in two major alternative business structures.
There needs to be a “root and branch” review of the complaints process run by the Legal Ombudsman, with the speed with which complaints are resolved a particular concern, according to the prospective chair of the organisation’s governing body.
Wanda Goldwag – a marketing specialist turned regulator with a connection to two high-profile alternative business structures – has been named as the Legal Services Board’s preferred candidate to chair the Office for Legal Complaints, the body that oversees the Legal Ombudsman.
Plans by the Legal Ombudsman is to give comparison websites details of complaints against law firms will be delayed by the service’s computer problems, it has emerged. Kathryn Stone, the chief legal ombudsman, said she believed comparison websites “really are the disruptors” in the legal services market.
The Legal Ombudsman has pulled from its website the details of law firms and chambers that have been subject to complaints because of concerns over their accuracy, it has emerged. The names of all providers that have been involved in complaints resolved by an ombudsman decision are usually published quarterly.
The Legal Ombudsman has investigated almost 5,000 complaints about claims management companies in the two years since its jurisdiction was expanded to cover them. But it has been warned to expect a major influx of more complaints if the government’s personal injury reforms come to pass.
There are “clear benefits” in the Legal Services Consumer Panel remaining part of the Legal Services Board, the panel’s chair has argued. Elisabeth Davies said the status quo allowed the LSB and the approved regulators to “access consumer insight on tap”.