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Call for Legal Ombudsman to be opened to third parties

Publish date: 08 June 2012
Issue Number: 3052
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: General

Third parties should be able to complain about lawyers to the Legal Ombudsman, the Legal Services Consumer Panel in the UK has suggested.

A report on the Law Gazette site notes that it proposes creating a general right for third parties - those which are not a lawyer's client - to complain, except in situations where it would 'impair the proper pursuit and administration of justice'. Responding to a consultation on the Legal Ombudsman's complaints scheme, the panel says the current rules are 'too crude' and prevent legitimate complaints being considered from almost all third parties. It says there are 'many situations' where it is not just the lawyer's own client who is affected, which can involve significant financial and personal consequences for those involved. Giving third parties a right of redress, it says, would bring the Ombudsman in line with procedures adopted in other sectors, such as financial services, surveying, estate agency and utilities, according to the report. Full report on the Law Gazette site