The Legal Ombudsman will open on 6 October 2010, it confirmed today.
The board of the Legal Ombudsman has agreed to keep to its plans for opening, subject to the Parliamentary timetable. The announcement indicates confidence that the new service will survive scrutiny by the Cabinet committee examining the need for all pending regulations left by the previous government (see story).
Chief ombudsman Adam Sampson said: “I believe that lawyers in particular should feel relieved that we are on track to open in October. Bringing together redress for legal services within one independent body represents good value for money for the profession as well as giving everyone – consumers and lawyers – greater confidence in the system.”
The Legal Services Board recently published requirements on lawyers to provide clear information to their clients both of their right to complain about the service they receive and guidance on how to make a complaint, including their right to go to the ombudsman if they are not happy with how the firm deals with the complaint.
Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said: “When people use lawyers, they should be able to do so safe in the knowledge they will receive a good service, and have a straightforward way of complaining if they are do not get one. The Legal Ombudsman will provide a single, clear and efficient complaints service to ensure we have the best possible legal services, at a time when more firms, and different types of firms, will be able to join the industry.”