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.
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.
Thousands of law firms are set to contribute £1.4m to the Legal Ombudsman after the government confirmed that they will no longer be eligible for two ‘free’ complaints every year. Meanwhile, LeO has not ruled out entertaining complaints by third parties, such as against the opposing party’s lawyer.
The Legal Ombudsman will not allow third parties to bring complaints against lawyers for the time being, Legal Futures has learned. However, it will in future accept complaints from prospective clients, while the limit for compensation will rise from £30,000 to £50,000
Regulators need to take urgent action to improve the way lawyers handle complaints after a “hard-hitting” new report highlighted multiple failings. However, although clients are often scared to complain, a positive experience when they do can actually make them likely to recommend the provider.
There is a “small but material rate of non-compliance” by solicitors with their complaints-handling requirements – and some bad attitudes towards complaints – confidential research by the Solictors Regulation Authority has found.
The Legal Ombudsman is going too far in proposing to allow prospective clients and third parties to complain about lawyers, the Law Society has claimed. Chancery Lane found support from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
Dissatisfaction with the response of the Solicitors Regulation Authority to allegations of misconduct by solicitors is the most common source of complaints against the authority, with the introduction of risk-based regulation making the situation worse, its independent reviewer has found.
Non-clients should have a general right to complain about lawyers – such as parties affected by delays in the conveyancing process and beneficiaries of a defective will – the Legal Services Consumer Panel said today.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has had the tables turned after receiving a monitoring visit of its own from the Insolvency Service which then criticised the way it regulates solicitor insolvency practitioners.