Legal Complaints Service closes doors with 3,718 cases still live

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

6 October 2010


Sampson: unhappiness with his comments on the LCS

The Legal Complaints Service (LCS) closed its doors to new complaints yesterday with 3,718 cases still live, its board heard today.

The LCS was almost exactly on its projected work-in-progress figure for today, when the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) opened for business, with 2,340 ‘general’ complaints still outstanding. The other 1,378 open complaints relate almost exclusively to one law firm which was the subject of a recent mail-out to its former miner clients about possible deductions from damages. It means the LCS has completed all the firms targeted for such action.

If the WIP figure is below 500 by 10 December, the LCS’s Leamington Spa headquarters will close as planned on 17 December and the remaining 200-plus staff made redundant; if not, it will close on 31 December. Thereafter all remaining cases will be transferred to the LCS’s London staff, where around 50 caseworkers will be tasked with closing them all by 31 March, when LCS will shut completely.

The report from LCS chief executive Deborah Evans to the board also showed that the service has managed to continue to meet its targets despite ever-reducing staff levels, while it is nearly £1 million under budget for 2010.

Residential conveyancing work was the cause of more than 20% of complaints, with personal injury, general civil, probate and matrimonial the other significant areas of complaint.

The report also revealed that a £1,000 special payment – usually made to complainants to compensate them where the LCS’s service has been in some way inadequate – was made to a solicitor in a “complex matter” dating back to January 2000. In all the LCS has made £50,468 of special payments in 63 cases in 2010 (the highest being £2,390), which is 42% of the whole amount paid out in 2009.

LeO officially launches at an event at its Birmingham office this evening. Chief ombudsman Adam Sampson has caused unhappiness at the LCS and Law Society for saying on the BBC yesterday that the LCS had a “woeful record” when the statistics, and comments from the likes of government ministers and the Legal Services Ombudsman, indicate this no longer to be the case after the improvements made in the past four years.

Tags: , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Rating lawyers by their wins and losses – a good idea?

Robert Ambrogi

Lawyers will give you any number of reasons why their win-loss rates in court are not accurate reflections of their legal skills. Yet a growing number of companies are evaluating lawyers by this standard – compiling and analysing lawyers’ litigation track records to help consumers and businesses make more-informed hiring decisions. The shortcomings of evaluating lawyers by win rates are many. Not least of them is that so few cases ever make it to a win or loss. Of equal concern is that, in the nuances of law practice, it is not always obvious what constitutes a win or a loss.

February 22nd, 2017