Tag Results

Consumers back barristers providing litigation and the BSB regulating all advocates

Barristers going into competition with solicitors to offer litigation services could reduce costs and make services “more efficient for consumers through packaged delivery”, the voice of legal consumers has said. The Legal Services Consumer Panel also backed the Bar Standards Board as the sole regulator of advocacy services.

January 6th, 2011 | No Comments »

Solicitor pays out for poor costs information in first ever ombudsman decision

The Legal Ombudsman service has issued its first formal decision, it has emerged. The first case to go all the way through to a final decision by an ombudsman concerned a complaint over delay and whether the costs were explained clearly.

December 24th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Ombudsman warned over “chilling effect” on lawyers of publishing complaints records

Lawyers have warned the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) that some clients will end up unrepresented if he adopts a complaints process that involves ‘naming and shaming’. Fear of reputational damage would have a chilling effect on taking on clients perceived to be ‘risky’ and adversely impact on lawyers whose social conscience led them to offer help, they said.

December 1st, 2010 | No Comments »

Ombudsman to track impact of legal aid cuts on quality of legal services

The impending legal aid cuts make it a greater priority than ever to ensure poorer people complain if legal services deteriorate, the Legal Ombudsman has declared in the wake of a government decision to scrap a duty on public authorities to reduce inequality caused by socio-economic factors.

November 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

Independence day

This is a blog I didn’t expect to write. We all know the independence of the legal profession from government is robust, right? In the summer I was speaking to Carolyn Lamm, the then president of the American Bar Association, about alternative business structures. When I asked if we had covered all of her concerns, she surprised me by raising the independence issue.

November 9th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Hayter: independence of legal profession from government under threat

The independence of the legal profession from government is under threat from Whitehall, Legal Services Consumer Panel chairwoman Dr Dianne Hayter warned on Saturday. Speaking at the Bar Council annual conference, Dr Hayter revealed that the Legal Services Board (LSB), Legal Ombudsman and consumer panel have all been told to close their websites, while she highlighted the threat from legislation that will allow government to abolish or amend the terms of the LSB.

November 8th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Sampson: ABSs put pressure on LeO to determine boundaries of its jurisdiction

The Legal Ombudsman service needs to work out the limits of its jurisdiction “and quickly”, as new business models emerge, chief ombudsman Adam Sampson has said. Mr Sampson said that with the pace of legal services reform accelerating and the legal services market “rapidly moving away from a reliance on the high street solicitor” and towards new providers entering the market “with very different business models”, it is very important to consumers that LeO is clear about what is and is not within its jurisdiction.

November 4th, 2010 | No Comments »

Solicitors to bear vast bulk of LSB and Legal Ombudsman’s £25m annual running costs

Solicitors are set to shoulder the vast majority of the Legal Services Board (LSB) and Legal Ombudsman’s (LeO) £25m annual running costs for the next three years at least, it emerged today. The LSB confirmed that it would proceed with its plan to levy its own £5m costs on the basis of the number of authorised persons overseen by each approved regulator, and most of LeO’s £20m costs based on the number of complaints generated by each group.

November 1st, 2010 | No Comments »

Rules confusion leads firms to “annoy” commercial clients by sending them to LeO

Confusion in the rules around complaints means law firms are having to “err on the side of annoyance” by referring commercial clients to the Legal Ombudsman even though it does not have jurisdiction to deal with them, it has been claimed.

October 29th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Ombudsman adds voice to concerns over plan to scrap Consumer Panel

The Legal Ombudsman has added his voice to concerns at plans to merge the Legal Services Consumer Panel into Citizens Advice. He said that whatever happens, he will still “need someone I can talk to who I believe truly represents consumer interests… Unfortunately, for all its virtues, Citizens Advice cannot do that.”

October 21st, 2010 | No Comments »