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.
Public awareness of the Legal Ombudsman is continuing to fall, while the number of dissatisfied clients who do not bother to complain is increasing, a survey has found.
Claims management companies will have to pay a separate ‘Lord Chancellor’s complaints fee’ of up to £40,000 on top of their annual regulation fee with the shift in complaints handling from the Ministry of Justice to the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has suggested that conveyancers, rather than clients, should answer to HMRC when stamp duty payments fail to arrive.