We might end up filing this in the ‘be careful what you wish for’ pile, but it might be time to ask a question of the bodies dedicated to protecting consumers of legal services: what exactly are you doing?

The Legal Ombudsman and Legal Services Consumer Panel, effectively the complaints handler and consumer champion, have been conspicuously quiet in recent months. So much so that the profession – which funds both – might start asking what it gets for its money.

The Legal Ombudsman, which has received plenty of negative publicity over its staffing and timeliness issues, has said nothing publicly since March, when it published – with limited fanfare – its business plan and budget for the year. Other than that, the sum total of this year’s communications has been a single blog by Office for Legal Complaints chair Elisabeth Davies and the opening of a consultation on its scheme rules. Davies’ blog, it should be noted, included a commitment to ‘change and transparency’, but we are in the dark as to whether either has been achieved.

At least the ombudsman has been relatively active on social media, usually posting every few days on Twitter with information about the service. Which is more than can be said about the Legal Services Consumer Panel, which has tweeted just once since last October. Its 'pinned tweet' at the top of its feed dates from July 2019.

Since July 2021 the panel has published one press release and chair Sarah Chambers has yet to add to her dedicated blog page at all in 2022. The organisation, it should be noted, has responded to several consultations this year but has published no research or reports since last October and provided no policy briefings since October 2019.

The profession will pay £251,570 to fund the panel in the next year.

We have no doubt that the panel and ombudsman continue to work hard in consumer interests, but their combined public engagement is minimal. Perhaps they’re simply too busy to talk right now.