In August 2017 I was instructed by a client about poor service from a legal services provider. During the following month, I took further instructions from my client and obtained files and documents.
I advised my client of the options available. Lodging a complaint with the Legal Ombudsman seemed to tick most boxes, in that compensation could be awarded and there would be minimal cost in lodging the complaint.
On 27 September, a formal complaint was sent to the LeO.
On 3 October, I received a reply from the LeO acknowledging receipt.
On 24 October, I sent a further email to the LeO with further supporting documentation. No reply.
On 5 December, I sent a further chasing email to the LeO. No reply.
On 11 January 2018, I sent a further letter by post and email to the LeO.
By this time, I pointed out that not only had my client received poor service from the service provider, he was now receiving poor service from the LeO. No reply.
On 7 March, I sent a further email to the LeO and, separately by post, a letter addressed personally to the ‘Chief Legal Ombudsman’. The letter referred to making a formal complaint against the LeO, as well as seeking compensation from the LeO for poor service. No reply.
Having recently looked at the LeO website, it is easy to see why I have made little progress because they have been playing ‘musical chairs’ with the top jobs – chief legal ombudsman, chief executive and the appointment of three new non-executive directors.
Clearly, they do not have time to deal with complaints about service providers and poor service.
I reviewed their procedure for complaining about their service. Unfortunately, even this was unhelpful because the first instruction is ‘tell the person dealing with your case’. Since no one has ever been appointed, there is no one I can tell.
It also variously advised me to contact a team leader, senior manager or the service complaint adjudicator without providing instructions on how to do so.
Stephen Lockwood, SL & Co Solicitors Ltd, Knowle, West Midlands