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”.
A solicitor who has failed to comply with a decision of the Legal Ombudsman and then a court order enforcing it is facing jail after she did not show up at the committal hearing. She has been given one final chance to explain herself or go to prison for 14 days.
The number of complaints against lawyers that reach the Legal Ombudsman has fallen to its lowest level since the organisation opened in 2010, its annual report has shown. Residential conveyancing, family, personal injury, wills and probate, and litigation were the most complained about areas of law.
Exclusive: LeO “frustrated” by lack of redress for clients of unregulated providers, says chief ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is “some way off” handling complaints about unregulated legal services providers, the chief ombudsman has admitted. However, Kathryn Stone said it was “deeply frustrating” to LeO staff that consumers of unregulated services had no access to redress.