New increased powers for Legal Ombudsman

 

Since 2010, the Legal Ombudsman has offered a free service to help resolve all types of complaints about a lawyer or firm ranging from customer service issues through to fees and negligence claims. It is independent and impartial and if your complaint is upheld, it can ask a lawyer or firm to put things right.

From 1 February 2013, a number of the Legal Ombudsman’s powers will be increased as a result of enhanced complaints-handling rules agreed by Parliament. The changes are:

  • The time limit for accepting a complaint will be increased to six years from the date of the act or omission and, three years from the date that you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint;
  • The level of compensation that can be awarded to dissatisfied customers will increase from £30,000 to £50,000;
  • The Ombudsman will now be able to accept complaints where a lawyer or firm has unreasonably refused to act for you;
  • The Ombudsman will also now be able to accept complaints from customers who were unreasonably offered a service that they did not want.

You can find more information about the upcoming changes in the Legal Ombudsman’s Guidance Note.

The Dispute Resolution team at Thrings have significant experience in advising and assisting with Legal Ombudsman complaints. We can provide initial advice about issuing a complaint, and can assist with the drafting and completion of the Complaint Form.

In addition, if you feel that you may be entitled to a compensation sum which could exceed the Ombudsman’s £50,000 limit, it must not be forgotten that there are alternative courses of action you can take. We have a vast amount of experience in assisting clients with professional negligence claims  - read about some of our recent successes

If you would like to speak to someone about a potential Legal Ombudsman Complaint or professional negligence claim, please contact Andrew Herridge.

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