The European directive on alternative dispute resolution will not only extend the period for making complaints about lawyers from six to twelve months, but reduce the grounds for the Legal Ombudsman to reject them from 14 to four, it has emerged.
The Legal Ombudsman has apologised to solicitors for any inconvenience caused after it abandoned plans to become a certified alternative dispute resolution body without a full consultation. LeO said it would “decide how to proceed” in December.
The number of lawyers demanding an independent review of their treatment at the hands of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has gone up, despite a decline in members of the public making a similar request.
The Legal Ombudsman has received just under 1,000 consumer ‘contacts’ about claims management companies in its first three weeks of complaints handling, it has emerged.
The Bar Standards Board is investigating complaints about 17 barristers at the same chambers, it has emerged. Meanwhile, there have been 55 expressions of interest and seven formal applications to form BSB-regulated entities.
A report for the Bar Standards Board, which concluded that the regulator handled cases involving ethnic minority barristers in a “transparent, consistent and fair” way, has been strongly attacked by equality expert Professor Gus John.
The first lawyer to be ‘named and shamed’ by the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) for a series of complaints has argued that he is only “trying to adapt to new market forces”.
The High Court has ruled that a law firm cannot escape responsibility for handling complaints relating to a sole practice with which it merged. It said that as Kerman & Co had enjoyed the benefit and goodwill of the deal, it also had to accept the burden.
The Legal Ombudsman has introduced a policy for dealing with complaints about organisations which provide non-legal as well as legal services, such as some alternative business structures and, shortly, accountants who offer probate advice.
The Bar Standards (BSB) has promised to research “the need for other quality assurance schemes and/or accreditation schemes” so the public can have confidence in barristers.