The consumer watchdog’s latest tracker survey shows that the profession is (still) doing a great job. Not that you would know it from the statement posted by the Legal Ombudsman on its website. Curiously, one line is omitted from the statement simultaneously sent to journalists – ‘overall, satisfaction with legal services remained strong at 80%’ (83% for outcome).

The link to the full statement was broken at the time of writing. An oversight, presumably.

Seemingly desperate for a stick with which to beat lawyers, LeO reaches for the statistic that fewer of those customers who were dissatisfied did anything about it. The proportion of people confident enough to complain about lawyers is lower than for supermarkets, apparently.

Well, perhaps. But a mouldy banana is a mouldy banana. Lawyers sell a professional service that is often a distress purchase, not (usually) a commoditised product. The comparison is invidious.

What also jars is the watchdog’s assertion that consumers rely ‘too heavily’ on reputation in choosing a provider and that just 27% ‘shop around’.

The body established to promote the consumer interest would seem to be uneasy that so many prospective clients opt to make an informed choice of solicitor, preferring to behave as clients rather than consumers. How dare they. Far better to ask a meerkat or an opera singer.