The names of 1,617 law firms and barristers who have been the subject of a formal decision by the Legal Ombudsman are now in the public domain. But there are positive signs for the legal profession in how few have recorded even five formal decisions.
The Law Society and consumer groups are to blame for the Legal Ombudsman dropping its ‘two free complaints a year’ offer, the chief ombudsman has explained. Meanwhile, allowing complaints from people who are not clients will not be an extra burden on the profession, he pledged.
Innovation in family law services is working for consumers but could in time lead to mis-selling and hidden costs as complex financing and legal services structures emerge, the Legal Ombudsman has warned.
The Legal Services Board and Legal Services Consumer Panel have thrown their weight behind Friday’s Office of Fair Trading report that urged continuing simplification of the regulatory regime for lawyers, particularly around complaints.
Regulators need to speed up their processes for approving alternative business structures, the Office of Fair Trading said today. It also called for further simplification of the complaints system, recommended actions to increase the number of available pupillages and gave cautious support for the move away from title-based regulation.
The Legal Ombudsman has won approval for changes to its rules that bring them more in line with the Financial Ombudsman Service and so equip it better to deal with alternative business structures like Co-operative Legal Services.
The government is to try and overturn a House of Lords vote that the Legal Ombudsman’s (LeO) jurisdiction should extend to bailiffs – although the ombudsman himself has said he is open to the idea. Shortly before Christmas, peers voted 233 to 191 in favour of an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill.
Lawyers are a little happier with the service provided by the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) than complainants, new research has revealed. It also showed that just 27% of consumers were told about LeO by their lawyer, despite the mandatory signposting requirements.
Alternative business structures will create “conveyancing factories” that exert a downward pressure on prices and could lead to an upsurge in complaints because of a focus on volume over service, the Legal Ombudsman has warned.
The press should look to the legal profession for reassurance that statutory underpinning of regulation does not impinge independence, the Chief Legal Ombudsman and the Law Society have said. There are also some important fundamental principles that should be behind any new regime.