The Legal Ombudsman is to attempt to build an early intervention capacity, including mediation and arbitration. Launching its 2014-17 draft strategy and budget, LeO also said it would seek to shave a further 5% off the cost of each case it handles.
The government has pledged in Parliament to “make every effort” to end the impasse and enable complaints against claims management companies to be handled by the Legal Ombudsman, more than a year after it committed to the move.
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 Ombudsman’s plan to widen its jurisdiction will cause a “muddle”, the Institute of Professional Willwriters has warned, revealing that other ADR providers had indicated an intention to move into the sector themselves.
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.
Primary legislation will be required to bring complaints against claims management companies within the remit of the Legal Ombudsman, the government has admitted for the first time.
A Birmingham solicitor has become only the fourth lawyer to be found in contempt of court as a result of legal action taken by the Legal Ombudsman. He was also hit with a fine of £5,000 plus costs, after holding on to important files and failing to update his clients.
The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has today begun a debate over whether its remit should be widened to capture complaints against the 130,000 unregulated providers who deliver legal services. It has also raised the prospect of becoming the complaints body for a wide range of professionals.
The Legal Services Board fears a successful legal challenge should it accept the compromise aimed at resolving the impasse over moving the handling of complaints about claims management companies to the Legal Ombudsman, Legal Futures has learned.