The Legal Ombudsman compares well with similar schemes on case resolution speeds, client satisfaction and perceptions of fairness, but many complainants reject its findings and its cost per complaint is high, according to a study.
The Legal Services Board’s consumer body has come out strongly in favour of making it compulsory that the chairs of the frontline regulators are not drawn from the profession, saying it would help counter conservatism in liberalising the legal market.
The possibility of clients buying ‘top-up’ cover to fill the gaps in compulsory professional indemnity insurance has been floated by the Legal Services Board as it set the scene for a significant shake-up of current financial protection arrangements.
The Legal Ombudsman is to begin work on what types of complaints it should accept from non-clients amid reports of lawyers harassing third parties over alleged debts, violating their privacy and doling out abusive treatment in court.
A single regulator for all legal services providers and a single code of conduct is the way forward for the market, the Legal Services Consumer Panel argued today. It essentially recommended tearing up the Legal Services Act 2007 and starting again.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has questioned the Law Society’s strong reaction to its recommendation that the possibility of a single compensation fund across the legal profession be explored, including whether the society has actually read all of its work on the issue.
The Law Society has dismissed the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s call to consider a single compensation fund for all legal service providers. It claimed that the panel’s report “lacks the degree of rigour necessary for it to be considered seriously”.
Confidence in lawyers’ honesty and in their handling of complaints has fallen for the second year running, although people who have actually bought legal services remain happy with their own lawyer, a survey has found.
At the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, we are keen to see more change in the regulation and delivery of legal services before we see a reduction in the number of regulators. But there is one area that we do think is ripe for simplification now and that is in the arrangements for compensation. A single compensation fund across all regulators would bring real consumer benefits and reduce regulatory costs.
Close to half of consumers of legal services are not satisfied with the value for money they received, with probate providing the least satisfaction and will writing the most, according to research. Just 57% considered they received value for money on average.