W4MP recently had a request from the Legal Ombudsman to tell you more about what they do. Here it is.
The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales was set up by the Office for Legal Complaints (our Board) under the Legal Services Act 2007.
Our service is open to all members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts.
• Our service is free to these consumers.
• We can get involved in different types of complaints about legal services. Some examples are wills, family issues such as divorce, personal injury and buying or selling a house. There are many others.
• We are independent and impartial. This means that when we start to receive complaints, we will look at the facts in each case and weigh both sides of the story.
• Most complaints can be resolved informally. If needed, we will carry out a formal investigation. As this could involve us getting more information from you and your lawyer, it could take longer to deal with.
• Once an Ombudsman decision is accepted, we can make sure that the lawyer does do what we say is needed.
We can only deal with complaints about lawyers who are regulated, for example we can take complaints about Barristers – regulated by the Bar Standards Board or Licensed conveyancers – regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. For a full list of the lawyers we can deal with and types of complaints we receive visit our website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
If you have any questions or would like to know any further information contact Rhiannon Walpole Stakeholder and Public Affairs Officer at Legal Ombudsman Rhiannon.walpole@ legal ombudsman.org.uk