Solicitors gear up for launch of Legal Ombudsman
Solicitors will be strongly positioned for the new complaints handling era when the Legal Ombudsman takes over from the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) on Wednesday according to the Law Society.
The Society says that its members will benefit from more than four years’ experience of an independent complaints regime headed by the LCS.
With professional guidance, support and other services aimed at cementing a high standard of client care and best-practice complaints procedures, the profession will be equipped for the new legal services complaints landscape.
Law Society President Linda Lee said the LCS already has a solid track record in supporting solicitors to deliver high standards of client care and complaints procedures within their legal practices.
“The Law Society will work closely with the Ombudsman to ensure the profession’s client care standards are protected.
“A range of support services will be available to solicitors on how the new Ombudsman process will work and what is expected from them.
”The ultimate aim is for legal practices to have in-house complaints procedures and client care policies that are so effective and robust that concerns and disagreements can be dealt with before recourse to the Ombudsman is necessary.”
Support and guidance
The Law Society has updated practice notes for its members in relation to client care and complaints handling. Earlier this year, the Society launched its Risk & Compliance Service, a key element of which is complaints handling.
The Society’s Client Care Toolkit, Lawyerline and practice management standard, Lexcel, are also important initiatives which are helping solicitors maintain high standards for the benefit of clients.
“The Ombudsman is more than just a new complaints-handling body. It is an incentive to look again at how legal practices engage with their clients.
“Solicitors will have a head-start from their experience under the LCS and, with access to strong support and advice form the Society, can continue to improve standards,” Ms Lee said.
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