Articles 114 and 115 of the Legal Services Act 2007 established the Office of Legal Complaints and stipulated that it must establish an ombudsman system. The Office of the Legal Counsel appointed the first Chief Ombudsman and acts as the organ of the Legal Ombudsman. The Office of the Legal Counsel reports to both the Commission des services juridiques and the Department of Justice. The current president of the OLC is Elisabeth Davies.  The Legal Services Act, 2007 sets out specific obligations for the Legal Ombudsman to exchange information with front-line legal regulators. We share general information about complaint trends, similar to what we post on the Site, as well as specific information about individual cases where there may be potential misconduct issues. The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales is appointed by the Office of Legal Complaints to manage an independent system that resolves complaints about lawyers fairly and effectively and helps improve legal services. Our job is not to decide whether it is professional negligence or whether there is a “legal wrong” such as embezzlement. We do not provide legal advice and generally cannot comment on the quality of legal advice provided by service providers. Our task is to take into account the level of customer service of the provider. The question for us is not whether they were negligent, but whether the level of service they provided was acceptable and, if not, what the consequences were for you. If something a service provider has done (or has not done) looks like negligence, it is likely that it is also a bad service.
Going to the legal ombudsman OR taking legal action for negligence are sometimes two remedies that could be exercised in the event of a problem. Both options may be open to a consumer if the same circumstances and facts exist and the consumer must choose which of them he wishes to pursue. Normally, we would not deal with a complaint where the consumer sues the service provider for negligence or if the court decision addresses the same circumstances as the complaint submitted to us. On the other hand, if you file a complaint with us and accept our final decision, you cannot sue the service provider due to the same circumstances. We can only review complaints from regulated legal service providers, and there are rules that determine what we investigate and how we do it. As a first step, one of our investigators will take care of your case. Your case will only be referred to an ombudsman if it proves difficult to resolve. Regulated legal service providers must notify you through the Legal Ombudsman to determine whether their service may be investigated by us. All complaints about the services of legal service providers will now be investigated by the Legal Ombudsman. While the Commission des services juridiques oversees some aspects of our performance, we are not part of the regulatory structure. Other areas common to ombudsman systems include: We accept complaints if we believe the complaint is about a legal department. We do not accept complaints about services that are NOT legal services, such as: creating business accounts or services they provided prior to the date they became an authorized person.
A legal service provider can be anyone who provides a legal service. Not all of them are regulated. The Legal Ombudsman is a mediation service launched in October 2010.  This is a free service that investigates complaints about lawyers in England and Wales. The Law Commissioner was established under the Legal Services Act 2007 and replaced the Legal Appeals Service and other appeal bodies. The current Chief Ombudsman is Paul McFadden, who replaced Rebecca Marsh in January 2021 after Marsh`s departure in the summer of 2020, having been in the position since April 2019.   The Legal Ombudsman is a member of the Ombudsman Association.  Before investigating, consumers must file a complaint directly with their legal service provider.
Providers are required to inform people of their complaint process. We are here to resolve complaints about the service you have received from your regulated legal service provider in England and Wales.